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Economic situation in Lebanon worsens in holiday season

Lebanese anti-corruption protesters wave the national flag in front of a Christmas tree erected in Martyr's Square in downtown Beirut on December 22, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

Rana Aladdin
Press TV, Beirut

Following two months of non-stop nationwide protests against corruption and inequality, Christmas in Lebanon seems to be less festive this year.

Lebanon is currently facing its worst economic crisis since the 1975 to 1990 civil war. The nation’s capital Beirut is known for its busy streets and festive spirit during the holidays. However, this year streets and shops are empty- something experts say they have never seen before.

Store owners and restaurants say they usually await the holiday season to make most of their profit. However, this year, they say they are facing a major drop in sales.

On the streets, the lavish Christmas tree that is usually set up by Beirut Municipality has been substituted with a “revolution” tree. Protesters created their own Christmas tree decorating it with banners and pictures from the protest.

Despite heavy winds having wrecked protest tents, people have continued to camp outside to protest Lebanon’s political system instead of celebrating the holidays.

Tens of thousands of Lebanese have flooded streets since October 17 voicing their anger over increased taxes, corruption, and a lack of economic and social reforms.

The holiday season in Lebanon is met with worsening economic conditions this year as the country sees a plunge in tourism, capital controls at the bank, and thousands of people jobless. People say their spirits are low but will remain hopeful that positive change awaits them in the New Year. 



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