Lebanon’s Restaurants & Cafes Declare Civil Disobedience

@sebusher | AP

Lebanon’s tourism sector has been having a rough year, with both the economic collapse and the coronavirus pandemic. The Beirut Port explosion further exacerbated the industry’s struggles.

As a result of the blast, the industry’s losses amount to an estimated $1 billion, according to the President of the Syndicate of Owners of Restaurants, Cafes, Nightclubs, and Pastries, Tony Ramy.

On Tuesday, the head of the Syndicate of restaurant owners announced that tourism institutions will stop paying taxes to the government and that they will not abide by the lockdown measures as an act of civil disobedience.

Ramy stated in a rally in Mar Mikhael that Lebanon’s restaurants, cafes, and other establishments will open against the strict two-week lockdown.

He added that tourism institutions will stop paying taxes until the formation of a new state that knows how to efficiently invest people’s money.

One Lebanese company recently announced a similar act of defiance. Rather than paying taxes to the government, the Em Sherif restaurant, cafe, and sea cafe have been donating their tax money to NGOs helping Beirut.

The tourism sector is putting immense pressure on the county’s top civil servants to resign, echoing the demands of the October 17 Revolution.

Will this be the tip of the iceberg for unwavering senior officials or will it just melt away?

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