General strike in Lebanon as frustration grows over worsening crises
Shops, government offices, businesses and banks shuttered their doors in Lebanon on Thursday, as part of a general strike to protest deteriorating economic conditions and press for a government to deal with worsening crises. The strike, which was accompanied by several roadblocks set up around Beirut and other cities, was ironically supported by the very political parties blamed for the deadlock over forming a government. This drew criticism from many activists and commentators, who questioned why those who were driving the economic and financial meltdown were themselves on strike. 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. The World Bank has described Lebanon’ financial and economic crises as among the worst in the world in 150 years.