As was expected, the government and the central bank were uncharacteristically honest when they declared their economic and financial failure.
Prior to that, they both failed to take essential economic rescue measures. Instead, they opted to deplete the reserves of the Lebanese people by spending it on their corrupt dealings with companies, agencies, political racketeering, personal enrichment, as well as intimidate the judiciary and prevent it from going after the occurring corruption that involves those in power at the government level.
For several weeks, the issue that is rests on the central bank, government, fuel companies, and gas station owners has been worsening. It has pushed the Lebanese people into despair in an attempt to force them to accept any price for a gallon of gasoline. In the event of a full removal of the subsidy, the price of 20 liter of gasoline could range between 150,000 to 200,000 L.L. These prices however would be considered a blessing compared to the alternative of prolonged supply interruption and hours of humiliation waiting in queues in front of gas station to fill up a few liters!
Leaks from within the walls of the government state that there is a political inclination to reach for $3.5 billion dollars of the required reserves and use them for further fuel and medicinal subsidies. This is in order to prevent further popular uprising against the government and its institutions.
Gasoline Black Market in the South
In South Lebanon, Lebanese expats have created a demand for black market gasoline priced at 50,000 L.L. up from 20,000 L.L.! Additionally, they have created a new profession to meet that demand.
As the security forces mobilized around gas stations to ensure that there are no monopolies for this vital commodity, queues of cars lined up gas stations all across the South to the tune of hundreds of meters long!
However, according to eye witnesses and live testimony, the South is witnessing, Tyr in particular, a surge in the price of 10L of gasoline from 20,000 L.L. to 50,000L.L. as a delivery premium worth 30,000L.L is being added on top!
And on the high price of gasoline, one expatriate told Tyroscom: “I learned that one individual in my hometowns sells gallons of gasoline after securing them in his own ways. He sells each gallon for 30,000 Lebanese Pounds, So I asked him to keep me filled up and assured that I will never run out of gasoline throughout my entire stay in Lebanon which extends until the end of next June. Most of my friends and relatives have so far done the same.”
Noting that a large number of southern municipalities have circulated to the owners of the stations not to fill in gallons, under penalty of legal action and fines. In an overview tour of those waiting in line at one station, in the south, it became clear that one of those waiting in the car was not the owner of the car, but instead was waiting to fill up the car at its owner’s behest, in exchange for a fee of 20,000 pounds! He said: “I am not the owner of the car, but I brought it to fill the fuel tank for a 20,000 pound fee. After that I will come with another person’s car, and I wait for my turn, whether in this station or a another one. I charge 20,000 Pounds, but sometimes I get even more. I have been doing this for about 2 months now, and I fill up 2 to 4 cars on a daily basis. Those who don’t want to wait in line are plenty, and I am now known for this service, and I get requests on the phone from many people I do not even know. Thank god we have found a way to work in a country that lost us all our jobs.”