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More suffering for Lebanese as government lifts bread subsidies

The price of bread in Lebanon has been raised by a quarter [Getty-file photo]

Date of publication: 1 July, 2020

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The cash-strapped Lebanese government has lifted subsidies on bread.

The price of bread in Lebanon rocketed Tuesday, as the near bankrupt government partially-lifted subsidies on the nationwide staple.

The price of a 900-gramme loaf was raised from 1,500 to 2,000 pounds, as the plunging lira and a financial crisis hits Lebanese across all income groups.

An increase in the price of bread will likely affect lower-income Lebanese most, who rely on the government subsidised staple.

Long queues were seen outside bread ovens in Lebanon over the weekend, after a number of bakeries halted production arguing they were losing money due to rising ingredient costs.

Bakery owners welcomed the government's move but with Ali Ibrahim, the head of the Lebanese Ovens Association, saying the decision should "have been taken a while ago", according to Reuters.

The bread crisis has sparked angry protests in Lebanon as the depreciating lira puts basic goods out of the reach of large numbers of Lebanese.

The collapse of the lira - which has lost around 80 percent of its value since October - has also wiped the savings of the country's middle-class.

The financial crisis is the worst Lebanon has experienced since the civil war and could plunge the country into famine some analysts and high-profile figures have warned.

The Lebanese army has also taken meat off the menu for soldiers due to the rising costs.

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