Lebanese President Michel Aoun received Central Bank Governor Selame at the Baabda Presidential Palace in the capital, Beirut.
At the press conference held after the meeting, Selame stated that they decided to consider the circular numbered 151 valid, allowing citizens to withdraw their foreign currency accounts at 3,900 liras, which is the current exchange rate in banks.
On June 2, the Central Bank instructed banks operating in the country to suspend their customers’ foreign exchange withdrawals at a rate of 3,900 liras.
Deciding to stop the foreign exchange withdrawals from 3 thousand 900 liras, the Central Bank did not provide an explanation as to which currency or the exchange rate the customers will withdraw their foreign currency in.
This situation raised concerns among Lebanese who had a foreign currency account in the bank that they would be forced to withdraw their money only at the official exchange rate of 1,507 Lebanese liras.
The Lebanese held demonstrations in many cities, especially the capital Beirut, to protest this decision last night.
ECONOMIC CRISIS IN LEBANON
Lebanese economy, which has a very fragile structure in terms of political divisions based on different religions and sects, is experiencing the biggest crisis since the civil war of 1975-1990.
Lebanese banks, which have resorted to harsh practices against the outflow of capital, have suspended international remittances since October 17, 2019 and imposed restrictions on customers’ withdrawals of foreign currency from their accounts.
The local currency, the Lebanese lira, is traded at different prices with depreciation in banks and the black market, even though the Central Bank keeps the exchange rate constant. While the official rate determined by the Central Bank was 1507, the current rate in banks was 3 thousand 900 liras, the dollar in the black market exceeded 10 thousand liras.