Sunday, November 27, 2022

Lebanese toilers search their cash after banks freeze funds – The Militant

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By Vivian Sahner

October 10, 2022

AFP/Anwar Amro

Sali Hafiz, proper, at Could 23 protest in Beirut, immediately grew to become a folks hero throughout Lebanon after she entered a financial institution Sept. 14 with a pretend gun and demanded $20,000 of her personal cash. Earlier the financial institution denied her request to withdraw cash she wanted to assist with a member of the family’s most cancers therapy. She left the financial institution with $13,000 and an official financial institution receipt. “We’re not criminals, we have now the cash, however [banks] are stealing it,” Hafiz mentioned.

Lebanese financial institution administrators have frozen deposits for greater than two years and restrict how a lot cash individuals can withdraw. Most of those that deposited U.S. {dollars} have been restricted to withdrawing cash in Lebanese kilos at a lot decrease charges than the actual worth.

Hafiz’s success opened up the floodgates, with not less than eight others finishing up related actions over the next week. On Sept. 22 the banks shut their doorways indefinitely. Depositors can solely entry their cash from ATM machines within the extremely inflated native forex.

Working individuals in Lebanon have been battered by the nation’s worst-ever financial disaster. The nation’s forex has misplaced almost 90% of its worth, whereas unemployment has soared, pushing 75% of the inhabitants into poverty. The inflation price in August was 137% over a 12 months earlier, the best on the planet.

Pushing the disaster onto the backs of working individuals, the capitalist rulers there have ended subsidies on drugs, wheat and gas. A tank of gasoline for automobiles now prices virtually a employee’s month-to-month minimal wage.

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