Lebanon's economy still struggling, as the population feels the squeeze

Lebanon's economy still struggling, as the population feels the squeeze
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Published September 23rd, 2012 - 13:23 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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The Lebanese economy struggles against a backdrop of the Syrian conflict and the Eurozone crisis
The Lebanese economy struggles against a backdrop of the Syrian conflict and the Eurozone crisis
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Ghazi Wazni
,
Kuwait News Agency

Many Lebanese, particularly those who support families, are seeking second and third jobs in a bid to alleviate burden of cost of living that has dramatically soared due to high prices of necessities.

The government has recently attempted to ease off these hardships, approving limited pay raise, however most of employees can barely make ends meet, due to unprecedented hike of costs of scholastic and academic teaching, books, commodities, fuel, medicines, medical treatment -- aggravated with very low value of the national currency. (USD equals 2,500 pounds).

Dr. Ghazi Wazni, an eminent economic expert, noted in an interview with Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) that "greedy merchants and owners of schools" highly rose the costs and fees, soon after the government endorsed the raise of salaries and wages.

Prices of commodities, compared to August last year, climbed 9-13 percent. Hike of prices fuel on the international markets have also contributed to the domestic inflation, for Lebanon imports 85 percent of products from the euro zone countries.

Inflation is forecast to grow seven percent by the end of the year. As to unemployment, currently estimated at more than 15 percent, it will hit 26 percent, Dr. Wazni says.

Number of unemployed young citizens, per year, is estimated at 10,000, he said, noting that many of the young seek jobs abroad.

A large number of Lebanese are coping with the crisis due to multiple resources and remittances from immigrants, whose contributions, estimated at USD eight billion per annum, constitute 25 percent of national financial resources. 

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