Internationally: Lebanese Unionized Workers Hold Nationwide Strikes And Protests

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With over 200,000 members, the General Confederation of Lebanese Workers (CGTL) took to the streets yesterday in a nationwide protest. The umbrella organization that includes dozens of unions and federations, protested against Lebanon’s deteriorating economic conditions and worsening political crises. The World Bank has described Lebanon’s financial and economic crisis as among the worst in the world in 150 years. The crisis has been festering since 2019 and has now reached new heights in recent weeks. It is reported that fuel has been in short supply, power outages have increased, and medicine, mostly imported, has been missing. Hospitals have closed their labs to outpatients and prices have soared. Lebanon has been without a fully functioning government since August. Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri named to the post in October, has failed to gain support from the presidency over his Cabinet picks and the two sides have locked horns over who gets more say in shaping a government. Lebanon’s ongoing political crisis has delayed long-awaited reforms and exacerbated the country’s economic crisis. Worsening unemployment, currency devaluation, and the COVID-19 pandemic have further compounded Lebanon’s problems, increasing the potential for civil unrest. Protesters continue to demand the resignation of Lebanon’s entire ruling elite and an overhaul of the confessional government structure, which distributes political power according to sect. They claim that this system has only benefitted political elites and encourages a lack of accountability.