Lebanon’s transportation unions will strike today in nationwide protest of the government’s poor oversight over the industry.
Taxi and truck drivers protested last week as well, shutting down roads across the country. Their primary complaint is with the interior minister, who they say has done little to regulate foreign competition in the sector.
These protests come amid great turmoil in Lebanon, which is currently facing debt worth $80 billion—or 150% of its GDP. Syrian refugees now constitute nearly a fifth of Lebanon’s population, burdening the country’s economy even further. This growing economic strife has also led workers in other sectors, including hospital and education professionals, to strike for higher wages.
After nearly three months since the general election, Prime Minister Saad Hariri has yet to form a new government to deal with these issues. Both pro and anti-Hezbollah parties gaining power has led to a sharp division, concentrating members of parliament at the end of two extremes.
Expect mounting chaos in the coming months as workers continue to protest. Although international donors have pledged $11 billion in aid, the money is tied to fiscal reform—unable to be adopted with Mr Hariri’s government still in limbo.
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Taylor provides insight into trade and technology, with a particular focus on North America and the Asia Pacific. He also serves as a copy editor on The Daily Brief.