06/15/2020, 00.00
LEBANON
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Patriarch Rai slams factions that fuel chaos and revolt

The Cardinal, head of the Maronite Church, confirms his support for the government called to "listen to the people" and "promote reforms". Some parties "create problems" to "distort" the ideals of the revolution. Unemployment reaches 35%, over 45% of people below the poverty line.

Beirut (AsiaNews / Agencies) - "We support the government that has only one purpose: to listen to the people and promote the reforms that everyone is asking for". In the homily for Sunday mass, celebrated yesterday, the Maronite patriarch Card Beshara Raï again addressed the political and economic crisis, exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, which is gripping Lebanon. He did not spare attacks on some parties that "create problems" during street demonstrations in recent weeks, with the aim of "distorting the revolution" and its ideals.

The cardinal turned to political formations, inviting them to put a stop to the internal "rebellious" factions, before the nation "slips into sedition". The reference is to the clashes and violence of the last few days in which elements of confessional claims have emerged, especially in Beirut and Tripoli.

From Bkerké, the Maronite patriarch stressed that the Land of Cedars "is going through a difficult period" in its history, as they have not seen in the previous hundred years. The prelate lashed out against "partisans" who pursue personal logic, who "mock justice, prey on public funds, empty the state coffers, impoverish people and throw young people, hungry, into the street".

The collapse of the local currency, which hit historic lows last week since the protests began in October, has again sparked protests with hundreds of people in the streets in various cities, amid protests over the worst recession in decades. Added to this is the emergency situation generated by the new coronavirus pandemic. Prime Minister Hassan Diab has convened an emergency meeting of the executive to discuss the crisis by approving the engagement of dollars in the currency markets and the lowering of the value in the exchange rate.

However, this was not enough to quell popular anger with an unemployment that touched 35% of the active population and over 45% live below the poverty line according to data from the Ministry of Finance. The Cardinal said these elements have fueled a general mistrust between the population and the state. "Trust in democracy is great - added the Cardinal - but trust in the demonstrations of politicians and institutions is very weak".

Finally, the Maronite patriarch renewed the appeal to government officials to "feel the suffering" of the Lebanese who "are hungry and fear both the present and their future". In this context, the Church works to "renew the identity of the country, in anticipation of the centenary of Greater Lebanon".

* in the photo, some protesters stage the nation's "funeral"

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