A group of gas stations’ owners in the Lebanese southern city of Tyre announced on Sunday a two-day strike and shutdown, as the country is grappling with a scarcity of gasoline amid reports that fuel subsidies might be lifted.
This announcement comes “after pressure was exerted (on owners of petrol stations) and in order to ward off recurrent attacks, the latest of which occurred yesterday in Lubnan Al-Akhdar station in Ain Baal town,” they said in a statement.
The statement also said their move comes “after gas stations’ owners turned into scapegoats as a result of the nationwide fuel crisis and after promises being made on TV vowing that the crisis will end are nothing but lies.”
“Station owners are struggling, just like customers, to obtain the available fuel that does not meet the needs.”
Long queues of vehicles snaking around gas stations have been spotted across the country with some regions being affected more than others by a severe fuel crisis.
In most areas, the people are allowed to fill their vehicles with gasoline at a maximum price of 20,000 to 30,000 Lebanese pounds.
On May 17, Lebanese lawmaker Fouad Makhzoumi said “the fuel, medicine and electricity crises as well as the overpriced commodities confirm that subsidies have actually been lifted but none of the ruling class members would dare to announce this.”
Lebanon’s financial meltdown is fueling hunger and unrest in the country’s gravest economic crisis since its 1975-1990 civil war.
The currency has lost most of its value since late 2019, making more than half the population poor as prices soar.
Still, politicians have yet to agree a rescue plan or a new government since the outgoing administration quit in August over the massive Beirut port explosion that killed 200 people.