Lebanon's bread-price clash minister v. bakes
The Economy Ministry accused bakeries of limiting the supply of standard packs of bread to force consumers to purchase more expensive, heavier bags of the staple. The ministry last week authorized the sale of larger 1,200-gram packages of bread for LL2,000, alongside the standard 900 grams of bread for LL1,500.
Effectively, the two varieties have the same value per gram. But the ministry said Monday it had withdrawn its earlier decision and that only the standard 900 gram package would be allowed. The Central News Agency reported that while some bakeries have adhered to the new decision, others continued to offer the two bread options.
Anisse Bchara, a Bakeries Association official, told the agency that bakers would confront any effort by the Economy Ministry to prevent the sale of the heavier package. He said any attempt to impose fines on bakeries would be met with a return to strikes.
Bakeries scrapped Friday their plans for a strike after the Economy Ministry managed to convince flour mills to bring down price of flour by LL30,000 to LL590,000 per ton.