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General strike freezes Lebanon as economic crisis continues

The country is in the throes of a harrowing economic crisis that began in 2019.
JOSEPH EID/AFP via Getty Images

Lebanese citizens went on a general strike on Thursday to protest economic conditions in the country.

Both private and public sector employees across the country participated in the strike, which was called for by the General Labor Confederation trade union, the official National News Agency reported.

Lebanon is in the throes of a harrowing economic crisis that began in 2019. The value of the Lebanese pound has plummeted, while unemployment and the prices of essential goods like food and gas are skyrocketing. In a sign of the times, Lebanese are currently spending hours waiting to fill their vehicles up with gasoline. Politicians have been unable to agree on the formation of a new governmental cabinet amid the economic woes.

Several stores, banks, businesses and government offices did not open on Thursday, and protesters set up roadblocks in the capital Beirut. While some Lebanese political parties also voiced support for the strike, protesters criticized the parties' participation in the event as they blame the politicians for failing to form a government and “driving the economic and financial meltdown,” according to the Lebanese news outlet Naharnet.

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