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Report: Warnings against 'Removing' Salameh

The calls to remove the governor of the central bank Riad Salameh from his post will likely lead to “unfavorable” results, and could negatively affect the value of Lebanon’s already sagging currency, the Saudi Asharq al-Awsat reported on Saturday.

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Lebanese Fear Currency will Further Tumble despite Promises

For months, Kamal Nasser, a successful plumbing contractor in Lebanon, has seen his business base erode.

There are almost no new construction projects as people save for gloomier days, and with the local currency on a downward spiral, he has not been able to import his most basic materials — tubes or plumbing valves from Europe and Ukraine.

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Demonstrators Take to the Streets as Local Curency Hits a New Low

Hundreds of Lebanese poured into the streets to protest the tumbling of the national currency to a new low against the dollar Thursday, blocking roads and highways in several places across the small country that had started slowly opening up after months of coronavirus restrictions.

In Beirut and other cities, protesters burned tires and wood and chanted against government officials to protest the economic crisis while waving the Lebanese flags. Shortly after midnight, growing numbers of protesters advanced in central Beirut pelting police and soldiers with rocks, while drawing volleys of tear gas. Some protesters threw stones at offices of private banks in an expression of anger at their perceived role in deepening their economic malaise.

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Govt. Forms Crisis Cell to Enforce Financial and Monetary Decisions

Cabinet on Friday approved a number of measures aimed at reining in the rapid devaluation of the Lebanese pound.

A statement issued after a Cabinet session in Baabda said the justice minister has been tasked to ask the state prosecutor to conduct investigations over “fabrications and false claims aimed at devaluing the national currency.”

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Lebanon: Months of Protests

Lebanon, mired in an economic crisis, has been rocked since October 2019 by angry protests over government corruption and incompetence.

Here is a recap:

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Aoun Says Thursday's Dollar Surge May be Part of 'Plot'

President Michel Aoun on Friday suggested that Thursday’s dramatic rise in the dollar exchange rate on the black market could have been part of a “planned plot.”

“Financial experts stressed that the dollar or any other currency cannot jump to this extent within hours. This removes the spontaneousness label from everything that happened and indicates the presence of a planned plot against which we must show solidarity,” the president told a Cabinet session in Baabda.

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Hariri Warns that Firing Salameh would 'Slaughter' Economy

Former premier Saad Hariri warned Friday against sacking long-running Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh, describing any such move as “madness.”

“The threat to fire Riad Salameh is economic, political and constitutional madness that would slaughter the Lebanese economy,” Hariri said in a tweet.

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Berri Meets Aoun and Diab, Rules Out Sacking of Salameh

A tripartite meeting was held Friday in Baabda between President Michel Aoun, Speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Hassan Diab, following a dramatic crash of the Lebanese currency that sparked raging nationwide protests.

The meeting preceded a Cabinet session in Baabda.

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Diab Says Citizens Livelihood 'Red Line', BDL to Pump Dollars into Market

Prime Minister Hassan Diab emphasized Friday that the government will not allow anyone to "tamper with citizens' livelihood," warning that "this issue is a red line."

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Geagea Says Lebanese to Hear 'Bad News' Daily if Hizbullah, Bassil Keep Ruling

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea on Friday blamed Hizbullah, Free Patriotic Movement chief Jebran Bassil and "their allies" for the country's economic pain.

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