Egypt Independent

Lebanon’s banks reopen after 2-week closure due to protests



BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon’s private banks have reopened after a two-week closure because of anti-government protests.

The reopening on Friday follows Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s resignation this week, a key demand of the protesters.

There are concerns the reopening of the banks would lead many to withdraw their money, fearing economic collapse.

A banker told The Associated Press “there are no restrictions” on those who want to withdraw money. The banker spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to talk to reporters.

Lebanese have been protesting since Oct. 17, demanding an end to widespread corruption and mismanagement.

The protests have worsened the crisis as the exchange rate reached 1,900 Lebanese pounds to the dollar at exchange shops. The official rate has been pegged to the dollar at 1,507 since 1997.

Photo: Anti-government protesters march during a protest against the central bank and the Lebanese government, in Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019. Lebanese security forces were still struggling to open some roads Thursday as protesters continued their civil disobedience campaign in support of nationwide anti-government demonstrations. The Arabic banner, front, reads:”Lebanon rises up.” (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)