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Lebanon transportation, labor unions go on strike to protest economic crisis

Fuel tankers block a road in Lebanon's capital Beirut during a general strike by public transport and workers unions over the country's economic crisis, on January 13, 2022. (Photo by AFP)

Lebanon’s public transportation and labor unions have started a nationwide general strike to protest the dire economic conditions in the Mediterranean country.

The industrial action, dubbed a “day of rage,” began at 05:00 a.m. local time (0300 GMT) on Thursday and is scheduled to last 12 hours.

Demonstrators used trucks and buses to block major highways as well as roads inside different Lebanese cities and towns.

Many public places, universities, schools and banks were also shut down all over Lebanon.

The heads of the unions say the strike may continue for days if their demands are not met.

“To be honest the circumstance that we are living today are quite hectic. We used to believe in certain lifestyle which changed dramatically. We cannot even afford our basic needs. I’m a student at university. I can’t afford my tuition fees anymore,” a protester in Beirut told Press TV.

“I believe the only solution is for the political parties to allow the youth take control of what’s left of the country.”

The people participating in the strike are protesting growing petrol prices, skyrocketing inflation and the plummeting value of the local currency.

Lebanon has been mired since late 2019 in a deep financial crisis that has caused the Lebanese pound to lose around 90 percent of its value to the dollar and led its banking system to collapse.

The crisis has pushed a large segment of the population into poverty, with the UN estimating that four in five Lebanese can be considered poor.

The US has exacerbated the problems by putting Lebanon under siege and adopting the so-called Caesar Act, which has hindered the country’s economic cooperation with Syria.

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