LEBANON TO INFUSE DOLLARS AS CURRENCY PLUNGE IGNITES PROTESTS

Hundreds protested for a second night over the Lebanese authorities' handling of a deepening economic crisis, despite the government pledging on Friday to inject dollars into the market to bolster the sagging currency, the Agence France Presse (AFP) reported on Saturday, June 13, 2020.


In one incident in central Beirut, roughly 200 young men gathered on mopeds, some of them defacing shop fronts and setting fire to stores. Some chanted against sectarianism. Security forces fired tear gas to disperse them and some of the young men threw stones and firecrackers back. Tension petered out after midnight.

In the northern city of Tripoli, the army dispersed hundreds shouting "revolution, revolution." Demonstrators had thrown stones and Molotov cocktails toward the soldiers and damaged the facades of several banks and shops. Soldiers responded with tear gas.

After a crisis meeting on Friday, President Michel Aoun announced that the central bank would implement measures from Monday including "feeding dollars into the market" in a bid to support the Lebanese pound. Lebanese media reported that the exchange rate had tumbled to 6,000 per dollar on the black market early on Friday, compared to the official peg of 1,507 in place since 1997.

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