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Syria's Assad replaces trade minister amid economic crisis

The Syrian pound plummeted to unprecedented levels in recent days [AFP/ Joseph Eid]

Date of publication: 11 May, 2020

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A presidential decree said Homs provincial governor Talal Barrazi will replace Atef Naddaf as Minister of Internal Trade and Consumer Protection.
Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad replaced the internal trade minister on Monday, as the country's economic crisis worsens with prices of consumer goods increasing and the local currency reaching record lows.

Syria's economy has been ravaged by nine years of war and western sanctions.

The presidential decree said Homs provincial governor Talal Barrazi will replace Atef Naddaf as Minister of Internal Trade and Consumer Protection. The decree gave no further details other than saying that Barrazi is no longer governor of Homs, Syria’s largest province.

The Syrian pound plummeted to unprecedented levels in recent days reaching 1,485 pounds to the dollar on the black market compared with 47 to the dollar when the conflict began in March 2011.

That sent prices of basic goods soaring and was followed by restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus that limited movement and trade.

Read also: Syrian lira in free fall after 'Assad-Makhlouf' dispute

Eight out of 10 Syrians live below the poverty line, making less than $100 a month, according to the United Nations.

On Sunday, Syria’s Oil and Mineral Resources Ministry announced a reduction in automobile fuel subsidies in another measure to tackle the deepening economic crisis.

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