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In Lebanon, the system works for the elite

16 9 0

“This is the most exciting, unifying thing that has happened since the end of the civil war,” said Fabio Irani, 25, a protester in Beirut. Lebanon is experiencing the rise of a collective consciousness and the rejection of a sectarian division of society which has gripped the country for 29 years, since the end of the civil war in 1990. This is the culmination of decades of anger at the mismanagement of the nation by government officials, and corruption which serves only to enrich the political caste. The protesters are not just demanding the resignation of Hariri’s government, which Irani calls “Chapter one”, but the overhaul of the sectarian system.

Events which have led to these demonstrations have been exacerbated by the failure of Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s government to address national problems in recent weeks. The September fuel crisis, which saw petrol station owners forced to pay foreign importers in Lebanese lira due to the lack of dollars, has raised concerns over economic collapse. September 28 saw long queues coming out of petrol stations as residents rushed to fill up fearing that the stations would cease trading by morning. The government’s short-term solution of agreeing that importers could pay foreign companies in lira and reaffirming its commitment to the pegged exchange rates has raised eyebrows about Hariri’s dedication to finding a long-term solution.

READ: Will the Lebanese end Hariri’s era of........

© Middle East Monitor