Banks launch indefinite strike in Lebanon

Lebanese Banks Association, court decisions ordering some citizens to withdraw their deposits from the bank held a meeting in the capital Beirut to discuss.

In a written statement made after the meeting, it was requested that urgent legal measures be taken that would enable the court to stop making contradictory decisions that would lead to the depletion of the remaining money belonging to the depositors and indirect favoritism among the depositors.

The statement called for the crisis to be resolved in a rational, fair and definite manner and especially for the state to assume its responsibility in this area, and pointed out that the mistakes in some arbitrary judicial decisions against them should be corrected.

The statement expressed regret over the past few days of judicial decisions that “use double standards” and force banks to pay their debts in foreign currency to depositors or to agree to pay 1 dollar in local currency by calculating 1,500 Lebanese liras.

These judicial decisions require banks to pay or transfer some depositors’ foreign currency deposits in cash in the same currency, and this works against other depositors who cannot withdraw their money.

Official authorities are held responsible for finding a comprehensive solution to the current crisis, and an indefinite strike will begin as of March 14.

The economic crisis in Lebanon and bank raids by depositors

All foreign currency deposit accounts have been frozen since 2019 in order to prevent the melting of foreign currency reserves in Lebanon.

The Central Bank of Lebanon announced in November 2021 that it can withdraw citizens’ money at a limited and government-set exchange rate.

While the country was the scene of various events from time to time due to these developments, a person in the capital Beirut on August 11, 2022, took the bank employees hostage with a gun because he could not withdraw his money, and then surrendered.

In Beirut, on September 14, 2022, a woman broke into the bank to withdraw her money and left the branch after taking the amount of 13 thousand dollars in her account.

Following this incident, on September 16, 2022, at least 7 more bank raids took place in different parts of the country.

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