Qazzi Sounds Alarm over Unemployment among Lebanese

Labor Minister Sejaan Qazzi stressed on Thursday that Lebanon is imposing strict measures on Syrian laborers and not restrictions.

“The conditions are in line with the national resolutions that are linked to the organization of the work of foreign laborers and with the labor laws applied in all countries around the world,” Qazzi revealed in comments to the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat.

He expressed fear over the impact of the Syrian workers on the Lebanese employment rate, noting that unemployment among Lebanese swelled since 2012 to reach a devastating 25 percent, where 36 percent of them are youth.

“The numbers are alarming,” Qazzi told the newspaper.

He pointed out that currently there are around 346,000 unemployed Lebanese due to the competition enforced by the Syrian workers.

Lebanon has been facing an explosion of social, economic and political tension due to the soaring numbers of Syrian refugees in the country..

Around 170,000 Lebanese are living below the poverty line.

There are now around 1.5 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

Although Lebanese border officials began informally restricting the entry of Syrians last October, Beirut officially imposed visa regulations earlier this month on visiting Syrians. The move was the first such in decades.



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