The Lebanese people of the revolution have again taken matters into their hands to save their country because the official authorities won’t do it. They launched a campaign Our Lira is Our Responsibility #ليرتنا_مسؤوليتنا to save the endangered Lebanese currency.
The trending campaign is getting the Lebanese people pledging to buy and sell only with the Lebanese Lira (LBP). The hashtag is trending on Twitter, and many Lebanese public figures have joined in, including Zeina Makki, Rita Harb, Salam El Zaatari, Rawan Tahtouh, and others.
Whether with a video or a written post, Lebanese people are taking it upon themselves, and encouraging others, to start making their transactions with the Lebanese currency, in order to protect it from deterioration. “Protecting the Lira protects you” is their call for wisdom.
There are many points of view on the subject; though they are all supportive of this heroic movement. The goal is the same for all Lebanese people: Stop using foreign currencies in Lebanon; but only their reasons differ.
Some say that dealing with the Lebanese Lira is an honor and they are proud to support it, while others want the American Dollar to completely vanish from the country. That in addition to other reasonings, such as Lebanon deserves it. If the politicians won’t save the economy we will. Because the power is only in the people’s hands. And so on.
All those reasons revolve around people’s love and care for their country. Many institutions and companies are also doing their part. Some have announced that they’ll only be accepting the Lebanese currency for payments, while others only expressed their “wish” that their costumers would pay with Lira on their future visits.
With the current situation, though, dealing with Dollars isn’t even an option. People simply don’t have it. Plus, the manipulation in exchange rates between the Lebanese Lira and the US Dollar that happened recently and the exploitation of the black market of this situation were enough reasons for people to transacting with the foreign currency.
Along with the core purpose of this campaign, there are other ways to help save the Lebanese currency and economy. It has become crucial to support the local industry, by buying products manufactured in Lebanon. You can also transfer your foreign money into Lebanese Pounds. And if you are an expatriate visiting Lebanon, exchange your money upon your arrival.
Lebanon is on the edge with its economic and financial situation, and this needs a quick solution to avoid a total economic collapse. A longer wait will put Lebanon at a much higher risk, which will be hard to recover from.
Normally, if the Lebanese people actually trusted the system, it would be the government’s job to put a financial budget for the year 2020 and start acting on it as soon as possible. The people surely want that budget to rescue the country from all these threats, but they also want reliable and trustworthy people to work on it.
A soon formation of a technocratic government plus early elections will be the right and suitable solution for all problems, according to people on the streets. Al Nahar newspaper listed these steps as inavitable procedures to take the soonest:
Accurate management of rapidly decreasing foreign reserves to protect the Lebanese pound through various measures, including stringent measures to control capital smuggling.
Financial restructuring with credible anti-corruption plans.
New social policies to protect those most affected by the current crisis.
A negotiated plan to reduce debt involves a fair sharing of the debt burden among society.
A monitoring mechanism that allows citizens to exert pressure to implement reforms while strengthening formal monitoring mechanisms.
The deterioration of the Lebanese currency entails significant social repercussions: the elimination of pension funds, middle-class savings and markedly low wages. This would also bankrupt several dollar-denominated companies, leading to higher unemployment, weakening the banking sector, and damaging future growth prospects.
As we previously saw, there are many ways to avoid this crisis from happening with the various steps one citizen could make, to bigger steps which are the responsability of the government. Though the most important action is to be made by authorities as soon as possible, and that is: listen to your people.
Watch the video below of the Lebanese people attempt to save their Lira: