In response, Lebanon’s Finance Minister Ghazi Wazni called for the prosecution of the banks for violating a government order to keep open necessary services such as supermarkets, banks, and pharmacies.
A senior banking source told Al-Jazeera that the decision to close the banks had been based on a request by the union of bank employees in order to reduce employee-customer contact to manage the spread of the virus.
However, some activists see this as the latest act of defiance by the banking sector telling the government that they can do whatever they want.
Nizar Saghieh, a lawyer and founder of progressive NGO Legal Agenda, told Al-Jazeera: “It’s like they are trying to tell the state that no one can force them to do anything.”
Confidence in the banking sector in Lebanon has already waned as a result of the capital control measures that have been taking place since October of 2019.
They also add that, with the continued devaluation of the Lebanese pound, they cannot keep adhering to the official exchange rate.
Even with the Coronavirus now taking over all of the world’s attention, the Lebanese people are not disregarding their fight against the economic and financial policies that have put the country in this mess.
There is a revolution that still hasn’t achieved its goals and, as soon as this health crisis is over, they intend to be back on the streets as relevant in the general talks on social media.
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