BEIRUT, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- Lebanese held on Thursday a nationwide protest against soaring prices and deteriorating living conditions caused by the long-term economic crisis.
Drivers and citizens took to the streets in the capital Beirut, Tripoli, Khalde and other cities and towns, parking their cars in the middle of the streets and burning dust bins to blockade main roads.
Fadi Abou Chakra, spokesman for Lebanon's fuel stations union, told Xinhua that the collapse of the Lebanese currency has impacted every aspect of life in the country.
"People can no longer afford their most basic needs, let alone to fill their cars with petrol which has increased in price following the hike in the price of U.S. dollar while people's salaries have remained the same," he said.
Ali Bazzi, a taxi driver, said he can no longer afford fuel for his car but still cannot charge his clients more as they have already become too poor to take a taxi.
Lebanon has been suffering from an unprecedented financial crisis amid shortage of U.S. dollars which has caused a collapse in the local currency, plunging over 78 percent of the population into poverty. The cabinet formed in last September has not met for three months, as political rivals have been differing on the issues of investigation into the 2020 Beirut port blast.
The Lebanese pound, which was pegged to the U.S. dollar at a rate of 1,500 pounds per dollar until the crisis erupted in 2019, has collapsed and was trading on the parallel market on Thursday at about 31,500 pounds against one dollar.