Public policy consultant and political activist Sara El-Yafi blamed the ruling political class for the situation Lebanon is currently facing, deeming the Lebanese people as hopeless.
“I don’t think fear is even remotely what it is,” El-Yafi said during an interview with France 24.
“I think it is rage, I think it is despair wreaking havoc on the Lebanese people with immeasurable consequences, and no corrective steps have been taken by the political class,” she said.
“When I use the word immeasurable, I don’t use it lightly. Immeasurable, as in even experts are having a hard time measuring and estimating how deceitfully severe and deviously bad this crisis is, which is getting worse by the second. And still, zero reforms have been undertaken,” she added.
El-Yafi stressed that the Lebanese pound has lost 85% of its value, affirming that the Central Bank’s reserves are drying up and very soon will no longer be sufficient to meet the Lebanese’ import needs.
“Yes, import needs because, kind reminder, that Lebanon is chiefly an importer. In fact, the country with the highest trade deficit in the world is Lebanon, in the world, because of the dreadful political class,” she pointed out.
“And the deals that they have struck with the banks who gave zero incentives to any local business activity to prosper across the years,” she noted.
“The unemployment rate has quadrupled.”
“In 2019, the unemployment rate was 11%. It is currently over 40%.”
“The inflation rate is more than a 100%. Can you believe the numbers I’m giving?”
“This is not a Hollywood movie.”
“What does that mean?”
“The fall of the currency created a phenomenon of hyperinflation, and a severe decline in Lebanese purchasing power.”
“The minimum income, which was already as low as 400$ just a year and a half ago has now fallen under 40$.”
“And at the same time, prices have tripled and quadrupled.”
“Hyperinflation is a rare phenomenon in the world, but it is the daily bread of the Lebanese people”.
“This comes at the backdrop of a country that has seen no economic growth for years due to the incomprehensible incompetence of a dreadful ruling class, a damning ruling class that has invested none of our resources on any form of productive investment or societal nation-building, but instead was spending, embezzling, stealing the funds of the Lebanese people to uphold their mafia feudal kingdoms.”
“Our deposits are trapped in banks, who are the co-signatories of this crisis.”
“The Lebanese people are obliged to withdraw their money at an extremely depreciated rate, effectively reducing the market value of our assets by 65 and soon 70 or 75%.”
“Who knows if it’ll be 100% in a few months?”
“This means that every day, the Lebanese citizen or resident indoors an effective haircut on his or her hard-earned money, even if no official policy was ever called by the State.”
“What has the political class done to remedy to all those horrors that I just enunciated?” she asked.
“They have done nothing, except hold onto their seats and arm-wrestle.”
“They have a practicing policy of a passive “laissez-faire” and kicking the can at the expense of the population, of which 50% are below the poverty line.”
“50% they are mafia lords, militia lords, thinking that they have the space to be bickering and infighting using the same old corrupt style that has led the country to its demise.”
“A club of mafias and a militia, who embezzle the people, who explode their houses, who shoot them down if they dare, demonstrate peacefully, and assault them if they dare take to the streets to ask for the most basic human rights.”
“A damming ruling class that deigns to bring our sectarian instincts because this is all they know.”
“It’s a can carcinogenic worms who thrive and survive on sectarian divides, that brandish sectarian slogans to justify their dismal existence.”
“Yes, the population is afraid, but more so the population is hopeless today.”
“Hopeless and is getting more desperate by the hour," she ended.
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