Lebanese citizens have made it clear that they have had enough of their politicians — taking to the streets since Thursday across the country to demand the government’s resignation.
The economy is in the worst shape in decades, and more and more Lebanese families are sending their youth abroad to find better employment opportunities.
As a result, the country has seen a significant brain drain.
Meanwhile, Lebanon’s politicians continue to live their lavish lifestyles while average citizens can barely afford to put food on the table.
Lebanon is a country with a lot of potential, but because of corruption, unemployment and poverty is increasing.
It is also one of the most heavily indebted countries in the world, and recently the government declared a state of economic emergency. The government says it is seeking ways to fight deficit, but the country’s currency, pegged against the dollar, remains under pressure.
It is struggling to find fresh sources of funding as the foreign inflows on which it has traditionally relied have dried up.
Promises of assistance from friendly donor countries, which have pulled Lebanon back from the brink in previous crises, has failed to materialise.
And expatriate Lebanese, long a backbone of the economy, are remitting less money as confidence in the government’s financial management plummets.
Lebanese have long complained of systemic and crippling corruption in their government and protests have sporadically gripped parts of the nation in the past few years. But this time it seems that the inability of the government to clamp down on corruption has unified Lebanese from across sectarian lines.
Economic protests have gripped several other countries in the Middle East this year, as we have seen in Algeria, Sudan and Iraq.
But in Lebanon, where there is a parliamentary system and so-called democracy, many citizens are frustrated and criticise the red tape that has made parliament unable to pass any effective legislation.
Instead, it seems all the government has done is to take away more benefits and impose more taxes on the people, already reeling from a deteriorating economy.
Corruption must be rooted out from the source in Lebanon, but it seems that the people believe their politicians are not up to the task.
On Saturday, a Lebanese Christian party quit the coalition government.
“We are now convinced that the government is unable to take the necessary steps to save the situation,” said Samir Geagea, head of the Lebanese forces party.
It is now time that the government put the interests of the Lebanese people first and address their concerns.