While the Lebanese are suffering from stifling economic and living crises, many state-subsidized materials, whose reserves are beginning to erode, in light of a crisis the country has not seen for decades, are fleeing to Syria.
This is what It was approved and recognized by a Lebanese minister, which sparked during the past hours a wave of criticism on the communication sites and in the councils of the Lebanese, as some directed their anger against the neighbor and its regime, in addition to Hezbollah, which is accused of deepening the smuggling crisis, by several politicians in the country.
The Lebanese Minister of Energy, Raymond Ghajar, considered yesterday that the main reason behind the fuel crisis that Lebanon is witnessing smuggling to neighboring Syria, which in turn suffers from a shortage of fuel.
He said after a meeting to discuss the fuel crisis with the caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab and other officials, “We found out that the main reason for the scarcity is smuggling. Outside the Lebanese territories because of the difference in prices between Lebanon and Syria. ”
He also added that“ the need in the Syrian market for gasoline drives the Lebanese smugglers to smuggle gasoline into Syria to achieve huge profits, given that this article Supported by the Lebanese state for the Lebanese citizens. ”
In Damascus .. Demand for the smuggler
As for Damascus, which lives in large areas There are “endless queues” at gas stations and other places. Agence France-Presse reported that citizens who are financially able resort to buying gasoline smuggled from Lebanon, especially in border areas, instead of standing for long hours to get a limited amount of petrol. At the stations.
The price of a petrol plate in Lebanon today ranges between 38,800 pounds for 95-octane gasoline and 40,000 pounds for 98-octane gasoline, that is, more than three dollars according to the exchange rate on the black market.
While the price of the smuggled petrol plate from Lebanon ranges between 70 and 80 thousand Syrian pounds, that is, between 23 and 25 dollars, according to the exchange rate on the black market.
This comes as Lebanon has suffered since the summer of 2019 from an economic collapse in which the Lebanese pound lost more than 85% of its value.
The collapse of the Lebanese pound was reflected in the prices of commodities, which increased by 144%, according to International Monetary Fund estimates. More than half of the population is now below the poverty line.
In turn, Syria, in which the conflict entered its eleventh year last month, is also experiencing a stifling economic crisis exacerbated by Western sanctions, in addition to the accelerating economic collapse in Lebanon, where it is deposited Many Syrians, including businessmen, have their money.
It is mentioned that smuggling between the two countries, which has many illegal crossings between them, is not a new matter, and officials and local media have always accused Hezbollah of protecting
With every fuel crisis, officials in Lebanon repeat that smuggling to Syria is one of the reasons, without resolving this dilemma.