The last couple of days were pretty taff, even for lebanese proportions. And so far, it doesn´t look like there will be any less chaos in the future. Probably, it will intensify.
The currency hit a new all-time low during the weekend, on saturday the rate on the black-market was 18.000 LL to one US-Dollar, a plunge in the currency´s value of about 12,5% in three days only. Adding to that, the energy crisis is getting increasingly dangerous for the country, as many parts of Lebanon only gets provided the necessary amount of electricity for a few hours a day. And the generators can´t work as well as they usually did, as the price of fuel is skyrocking. Not only is the price, due to a change in the rate of the governments subsidies for fuel, rising, there is simply not enough fuel in the country for private transportation to work effective. Some gas stations are packed with cars during the night, as they hope to get fuel in the morning.
The northern city of Tripolis is once again the most flammable part of the country, this time leading to several disputes between protesters and the military in the eastern quarters of Tabbaneh, one of the poorest areas in Lebanon. According to different reports, armed men were walking through the streets, firing in the air with machine guns. Luckily, no injuries were reported. Of course, several street blockades took place as well.
The second protests stronghold lies in the southern city of Saida, already in Hezbollah controlled territory. Next to a couple of blockades, there were reports of a taxi driver being stabbed by a knife, apparently after a dispute with one of his passengers. Criminal acts like this one appearing more and more often in a country that isn´t known for a high criminal rate in general.
One example of an act against this increasing chaos was the announcement of the turkish Karpowerhip company to continue to provide electricity for Lebanon. The company stobbed providing energy after a dispute with the government over not-paid bills and following accusations from the Lebanese government. Whether this step was supported or arranged by the government in Ankara remains unclear, after Erdogan´s meeting with Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri in Istanbul last Saturday.