| 5 December 2021, Sunday |

Consumer’s Association: Subsidies led to an unprecedented socio-economic catastrophe

The Lebanese Consumer’s Association announced in a statement that it continues to control markets and commodity prices on a quarterly basis, in addition to periodic follow-up of sudden changes resulting from monopolies, storing, and smuggling.

Two years after the October 17, 2019 uprising, the association affirmed the following points:

– The policy of supporting merchants and smuggling money and goods and storing it which was adopted by the sectarian authority to loot the deposits by banks through haircuts that have sometimes reached to 90%, led to an unprecedented socio-economic disaster. Th main indicators are the price hikes of most commodities at a rate equivalent to the rise in the price of the dollar, or about 13 times. Purchasing power and the minimum wage have also deteriorated in a dramatic way, as it reached currently $32, while in 2019 it was $450.

-The collapse of state institutions, as the alliance of sectarian parties, banks and merchants took control of the Lebanese people’s resources, and played their usual dirty game by humiliating people with a series of queues in front of bakeries and gas stations, and hiding goods. This was accompanied by severe power cuts and water scarcity, which was supplemented by the ongoing sectarian and security tensions. The result is horror, anxiety, poverty and a massive emigration that has exceeded, during the last six months, more than 600,000 immigrants, most of whom are highly qualified.

How long will the sects control the fate of the country and the people?

The association pointed out that “the results of the price hikes of goods and services for the third quarter 2021 is a model for this collapse: vegetables dropped by 0.7%, while fruits rose by 8.43%, meat rose by 79.14%, dairy and cheese products increased by 47.58%, household and personal items rose by 30%, canned goods, oils and grains, surged by 38%, bread rose by 42.70%, soft drinks and juice, and fuels climbed by 103.37%, communications and transportation rose by 194.3% of, and a total increase of 60.47%.