Lebanon’s recent protest left motorists in a state of panic. Floods of vehicles hovered around gas stations, increasing traffic, all in order to fill their means of transportation with gasoline.
A statement by a member of the Syndicate of Gas Station Owners, Fadi Abou Chakra, planted fear and worry into the minds of Lebanese citizens. The statement claimed a problematic shortage of oil will take place if action isn’t taken seriously.
However, that was followed by a contradicting statement from the head of the Syndicate, Sami Brax, claiming the non-existence of the crisis.
On Monday the 20th of May, amidst public protests on potential budgets’ cut, the Syndicate contacted the Customs to drop their strike and proceed with work, which stirred up more confusion.
While the oil has arrived from abroad and is resting on Lebanese soil in tanks, the distribution of it has been problematic. Customs employees have been on strike, protesting the possible wage cut, which is impeding supply distribution.
Prime Minister Saad Hariri and the respective cabinets have been in a stage of contemplation regarding the wage cut decisions. However, wage cuts for Lebanon’s political figures, such as the president, the MPs, and the ministers have been agreed upon.
Lebanon has been in debt for uncountable years, making it one of the most indebted countries in the world. According to Trading Economics in 2018, our country is currently at 152 percent of GDP in public debt.
This situation had caused chaos to break around downtown in Beirut. Tires were set aflame while meetings were being held in the Government House, by the ministers and Prime Minister Saad Hariri, in hopes to come up with a decision regarding their budget.
Decisions regarding the future wage cuts for public sector employees remains uncertain because officials are disinclined to share more in order to prevent any sudden havoc.