Following a ruling of the state’s Shura Council, the Central Bank decided to stop Circular 151 which was allowing depositors to withdraw dollars stuck in Lebanese banks in Lebanese Pounds at the 3,900 LBP rate rather than 1,500 LBP rate.
Now, people can only withdraw ‘lollars’ at the exchange rate of 1,500 LBP. This infuriated people across the country who were making use, albeit poor use, of their local dollars trapped in the banks.
Notably, the black market exchange rate has exceeded 13,000 LBP per dollar, sending the price of basic everyday goods through the roof.
Following the decision, people took to the streets in protest. They blocked the roads at Al-Amine Mosque (near Martyrs’ Square), Ring Bridge, in Jal El Dib, Antelias, Tripoli, and more.
Frustrated with new daily challenges, Lebanese are calling for the resignation of all 118 Members of Parliament in a hashtag that is trending on Twitter (١١٨_استقالة_الان#).
After queuing at gas stations, pharmacies, and bakeries, people were seen lined up at ATMs earlier today in hopes to withdraw their ‘lollars’ at the 3,900 LBP rate.
“We are not required to go out on the street to demand that we collect our deposits at 3,900 LBP. We deposited them as dollars and we want them as dollars,” tweeted LebProtests.