As Lebanon economic crisis worsens, former ambassador stages sit in at a bank for ‘his own money’

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Amid Lebanon’s financial meltdown, a former Lebanese ambassador held a sit-in at his bank outside the capital city of Beirut on Tuesday.

Georges Siam, Lebanon’s former Ambassador to Qatar, Turkey, Brazil and the UAE and currently the honorary consul of Ireland in Lebanon, staged the sit-in demanding that the bank let him withdraw the usual amount of money from his account.

CNN quoted his wife Golda Siam as saying that Georges is unarmed and peaceful. “It’s our money and we don’t need to beg for it,” she remarked.

Watch | What’s behind Lebanon’s economic crisis? Why people are being forced to rob banks for their money?

In September, Sali Hafiz a Lebanese woman also made headlines after she held up a bank with a toy gun. At the time Siam had supported Hafiz and tweeted in support “We need more of that. The lady is a hero.”

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Two other men too held-up banks in Lebanon’s Beqaa Valley and Tyre on Tuesday, demanding that their savings be returned to them. They used guns and even took hostages.

On Tuesday, in yet another incident, a fourth bank in Tripoli was stormed by disgruntled employees of an electricity company. As per Depositors Outcry Association an advocacy group, they were protesting against overdue salary as well as pay cuts.

Also read | Armed man demanding savings holds Beirut bank staff hostage 

Last month saw at least seven incidents where angry depositors held up banks. Following this, banks have now taken to hiring private security companies to guard branches.

These incidents paint a grim picture of the dire living conditions that Lebanon faces amid the financial meltdown.

Corruption and mismanagement at the hands of the country’s government are blamed for Lebanon’s worst economic crisis ever.

Since 2019, the Lebanese pound has lost more than 95 per cent of its value on the black market. At the same time, unemployment and poverty have soared.

(With inputs from agencies)

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