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Lebanon transportation strike reflects dire economic crisis

Mariam Saleh
Press TV, Beirut

Public drivers, tanker trucks and buses blocked major highways Thursday in Lebanon to protest the country's deteriorating economic and financial conditions.

The head of the land transportation unions said they did not call for popular protests since this is a first warning to the officials after which there could be escalated steps.

The representatives of the drivers said had the government implemented its promises, there would not be a strike, but with the fuel tank ten times its price with subsidies lifted and no benefits for workers in sight then all the people will once more take to the streets.

This is one of the main crossroads in the heart of the capital Beirut which has been blocked since 5 a.m. The land transportation unions and the General Confederation of Lebanese Workers say they will continue with the strike for days if need be until their demands are met by the Mikati cabinet.

This man says, “We are not alive, we are dead.” “People will learn not to vote for the same corrupt politicians”, he says. These words are being heard frequently only months till the parliamentary elections.

The crisis goes beyond the price of fuel; the strike is one facet of the economic meltdown which has engulfed the country. Most people and even students have to take on multiple jobs to make ends meet.

The nationwide protests were dubbed a “day of rage”, and with more than 80% of the Lebanese people living in poverty, it could be followed by more days of outrage at the political paralysis which has failed in stopping the socio-economic and financial downfall.

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