Large queues are lining the roads and highways leading to petrol stations still having precious fuel after the Lebanese authorities announced yesterday that they had agreed to significantly increase the price of a 20-liter gallon.
Thus, this increase should make it possible to continue for a few more months the subsidies granted by the Bank of Lebanon for the purchase of gasoline. In return, the price per 20-liter gallon is expected to drop from LL / USD 45,000 to LL / USD 69,000 as early as next week as the market already suffers a significant shortage with only sufficient quantities for 60% of the market, forcing motorists to get to petrol stations despite the wait, which can sometimes take an hour.
This new increase should induce a further deterioration of the Lebanese pound against the dollar, underline some financial observers because of the inflation it causes. However, they wonder about the lack of an alternative today when the available monetary reserves of the Bank of Lebanon are on the verge of being exhausted. Thus, the cost of the gasoline subsidy program is fuel oil reaching up to $ 300 million in recent months. The scarcity situation was further compounded by the emergence of trafficking between Lebanon and Syria, trafficking that local authorities are desperately trying to control.
Due to incidents and even clashes and violence that led to the death of a national in northern Lebanon, two weeks ago, the internal security forces and elements of other security services deployed nearby gas stations always open to maintain calm and disciple.
This lack of fuel could also worsen the situation of other sectors of activity, in particular telephone exchanges, water distribution or even hospital services which depend on generators due to the shortage of electricity.