The economy of Lebanon is in a serious crisis. The trains stopped driving, the ATMs went on strike, then banks refused to pay account holders more than $ 1,000. Finally, on October 17, the government in Beirut announced a tax on WhatsApp calls. This sparked the first nationwide protests for over a decade. But now something normal has turned up in the capital Beirut.
After negotiations with the demonstrators, soldiers and police officers opened important access roads, according to eyewitnesses. Shops in the city center also opened again and bank employees returned to work. Bank branches should not open for customers for the time being; even schools remained closed.
"The revolution must continue "
To isolated protests it came also in the second largest city Tripoli in the north of the country. According to eyewitness reports, the army used tear gas against protesters who wanted to block a main road in the coastal city. At least three people were injured, according to the Lebanese Red Cross. In the port city of Sidon in the south, some people refused to leave the road before forming a new government. "The revolution must continue," shouted protesters in Tripoli.
Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned under pressure from the protests a few days ago. The demonstrators accuse him and his government, among other things, of delaying reforms and wasting state money. Many celebrated the resignation and left. Others warned to maintain pressure. Roads would be blocked again if President Michael Aoun did not quickly form a new government, a demonstrator said.
Hariri had submitted his resignation request to Aoun on Tuesday. Only when he accepts Hariri's resignation can Aoun begin deliberations with the blocs in parliament on a successor.