Lebanon: the scarcity of gasoline weighs on the daily life of the population

Audio 01:16

Traffic has been reduced to a minimum in Beirut for weeks, for lack of gasoline.

When there is a slowdown, it is because there is an open gas station.

AFP - ANWAR AMRO

Text by: RFI Follow

3 min

In Lebanon, gasoline shortages continue.

The reason for this is the difficulty in importing foreign currency and the proliferation of the black market.

The total end of fuel subsidies is said to be imminent, by the end of September.

These subsidies have already largely been lifted, causing the price of gasoline to skyrocket.

Latest increase last week;

despite this, gasoline remains scarce, making everyday life very difficult.

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With our correspondent in Beirut,

Laure Stephan

Traffic has been reduced to a minimum in Beirut for weeks, for lack of gasoline.

When there is a slowdown, it is because there is an open gas station.

The one where Saadé Cheaïb waits opens, like the others, only a few hours a day.

I've been waiting for about an hour and a half,"

he laments.

Usually it's worse;

there is less waiting, not because of the price increase, but because we go faster.

We have to queue because there are people in the country who are hiding the gasoline.

I refuel myself every ten days.

 "

 See also: 

Lebanon: the price of gasoline increases by 38%

At issue behind the shortages, according to this father, the storage of gasoline by profiteers who are waiting for the end of the subsidies. Saadé still has a good hour of waiting in front of him. And a bad surprise: at the pump, the quantities are rationed: “ 

What is happening harms us a lot. You cannot travel by car, at work or elsewhere. A week ago my son had a doctor's appointment, I canceled it because I had no gas. When we stand in line, we really feel without pride, we feel exhausted… This situation we are experiencing does not exist anywhere else in the world, it is just with us, an exception. Despite the new government, I don't believe anything will change.

 "

In the queue, a minibus driver complains of wasting his days looking for gasoline.

The rise in prices, he passes it on to his customers, the prices of informal transport have soared.

 To read also: 

Lebanon: the main challenges that await the government of Mikati

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