| 22 February 2024, Thursday |

“Circular No.158 is quickest and easiest way to collapse,” according to Lebanese Consumers Association

The Lebanese Consumers Association affirmed in a statement that “Circular No.158 issued by the Central Bank is quickest and easiest way to collapse.”

“Depositors have been waiting for fair and concise remedies to their crisis for twenty months, just as all citizens have been waiting for a complete and accurate economic and financial plan that promises a a glimpse of hope during such a deadly darkness,” the Association said.

“The circular’s content consists of a series of updates and games used by the ruling powers to preserve its power and ensure its interests. The Consumer Association has examined the present circular looking for information that would support depositors and the economy. Nevertheless, it has only found out some devils working for the profit of banks:

First: The decision to withdraw in dollars was announced late and without regard for a detailed strategy to resolve the country’s significant problems. During the 20 months of the crisis, the ruler’s policies and the lack of state institutions failed to sustain economic and social stability, as well as the Lebanese Pound’s currency value. Not to forget to mention the printing of countless paper currency, support for traders, and fabricated platforms. Not out of foolishness, but to smuggle hard currencies and steal savings, and to rob the Lebanese Pound and wages of their purchase power, four or five different prices for the dollar were developed.

Second: The 400-dollar resolution (i.e., payment in pounds at a platform rate of 12,000 LBP per dollar) is a continuation of previous policy. As a consequence, the “free dollar market” reached 15,000 LBP, expecting to reach 18,000 and 20,000 LBP by June 30, in order to secure haircuts of at least 30%, a price that the banks “deserve” as a result of their sacrifices. Of course, depositors’ right to spend any additional funds will be revoked at 3,900 LBP for an added bonus on the sale.

Third: The final and most hazardous prize was offered by Banks’ Governor, which was collected through depositors’ funds. Freezing over 26 billion dollars at  0% interest, belonging to about 800,000 accounts (between twenty and fifty thousand dollars for the depositor) that depositors will not be able to claim for the next five years, and this is a huge burden that the banks did not know how to get rid of when they rejected the ruler’s project in the early hours.”

“The demons of banks are working diligently in the Parliament, courts, media, and at all levels of the government. The Lebanese should be much more proactive in streets and in front of the residences of politicians in charge in order to hold them accountable and reclaim their lost rights and status,” the statement concluded.

  • Sawt Beirut International