Lebanon’s Christian authorities have accused political leaders of plunging the nation into economic ruin and potential famine as the tiny Mediterranean country faces it worst crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war.
Lebanese have seen their national currency lose 80 per cent of its value against the US dollar, a majority currency also used in the country, since nationwide protests erupted in October.
Demonstrators have railed against decades of corruption and mismanagement by the political elite. Now, they condemn the dire living conditions and incessant power cuts engulfing Lebanon, once known as the ‘Switzerland of the Middle East’. They demand long-term political reform.
The country’s top Catholic cleric, Cardinal Bechara Rai, Maronite patriarch, lambasted the politicians’ handling of the economic crisis. During a 5th July sermon, the patriarch urged President Michel Aoun to take swift action.
“It appears politicians want to hide their responsibility in emptying the treasury and not enact any reforms,” he said.
Picture: A woman removes dry clothes from her home in a poor section of Tripoli, Lebanon, on 1st July 2020. Lebanese have seen their national currency lose 80 per cent of its value against the US dollar, a majority currency also used in the country, since nationwide protests erupted in October. (CNS photo/Mohamed Azakir, Reuters).