Lebanon’s economic and financial crisis has unfolded since late 2019, crippling the import-dependent nation and leaving residents struggling to find fuel, medicines and basic supplies.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in a visit to Lebanon threatened unspecified measures against officials obstructing the formation of a government in the crisis-hit country.
Protesters closed major roads leading to the Lebanese capital, causing traffic jams and triggering a call by the head of the hospitals union who warned that such moves are preventing oxygen supplies from reaching medical centers treating patients.
Lebanon's caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab pressures politicians to form a new government, saying the country is confronting enormous challenges that no government can face.
The country's deeply divided political class has so far failed to reach any consensus on a suitable candidate to be prime minister, a position always held by a Sunni Muslim.
The EU move came as France President Macron said that France will organise a conference in the next few days to raise money for food, medicine, housing and other urgent aid.
The currency crisis is part of a wider economic meltdown that poses the biggest threat to the stability of import-reliant Lebanon since the 1975-90 civil war.
Prime Minister Hassan Diab accuses rivals of mounting a "coup" against his government as currency crisis deepens.
The initial rallies last year were sparked by a raft of new taxes, and quickly morphed into a street movement calling for a full overhaul of the political class.
Demonstrators joined hands from Tripoli to Tyre, a 170-kilometre chain running through the main protest hub in Beirut, as part of an unprecedented cross-sectarian mobilisation.
Demonstrations sparked by a proposed tax on WhatsApp and other messaging apps have morphed into an unprecedented cross-sectarian street mobilisation against the political class.
Tempers boiled over on Thursday over plans to introduce a $0.20 tax on calls on messaging applications such as WhatsApp, though it was then scrapped in response to the protests.
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