Lebanon: Beirutis queue to buy dollars as central bank tries to prop up Lebanese pound

Dozens of people were seen queuing outside a currency exchange shop in downtown Beirut on Wednesday, in an attempt to buy dollars at the ''official'' rate established by the Syndicate of Money Changers in Lebanon as the country sinks deeper into economic distress. Beirutis were seen queuing outside the Farah Center currency exchange shop in the Lebanese capital's bustling Hamra Street. «We are standing in line to get $200 (€178.30) and have been waiting for nothing from morning until now. We did not even enter the shop,» one Beiruti said. Lebanon's central bank announced last week that it would begin injecting dollars into the market in a bid stabilise the value of the Lebanese pound. Hundreds of people protested from Thursday to Saturday following a dramatic plummet in Lebanese pound's value, despite a new pricing system, losing around 70 percent of its value since protests began in October 2019. The rallies have lead into violence, including attacks on banks and shops. Protests against allegations of government corruption broke out last year, as Lebanon was facing its worst economic crisis in decades, with soaring unemployment and the ongoing currency crisis that rapidly depleted the value of the local currency. The lockdown implemented due to the coronavirus pandemic has added further pressure on the struggling Lebanese economy, prompting a new wave of protests despite social distancing restrictions.

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