By Sami Zaptia.
London, 15 March 2016:
Demonstrators outside the Tripoli-based Central Bank of Libya (CBL) today blamed its Governor for the country’s . . .[restrict]economic woes.
They called for the availability of cash at their banks, the removal of the current cash withdrawal limits imposed by banks, the provision of foreign exchange (FX) at the official exchange rate and the lowering of the sky high black market FX rate.
The demonstrators, reported by an eye witness driving-by on the corniche road numbering less than a hundred, slowed the flow of traffic down as they distributed large photocopies of photo-shopped US dollars with the face of Tripoli CBL Governor Saddek El Kabber printed on them.
The US dollars carried the slogan over his face saying ‘’The official partner of the (currency) black market’’ on the front. On the reverse side of the US dollar they had pictures of basic food provisions with the slogan ‘’The people are perplexed by the high prices’’.
Placards carried by demonstrators said: ‘’Playing with the future’’, ‘’Where is the Libyan People’s Money?’’, ‘’Our money has been stolen’’, ‘’We want our money’’, ‘’Where is the dinar, stealer of the dollar’’.
One particular placard accused the Governor of being complicit in the country’s current economic and financial woes.
It will be recalled that Libya is going through an acute economic and financial crisis as a slump in oil production/export to a 20-25 percent of the post 2011 revolution peak of 1.5 m b/day. This has been compounded by a slump in international crude oil prices from over US$ 100 / barrel to around the US$ 45/barrel.
There is also a political and military split and inertia, fighting and lack of legitimacy and consensus in the country which has taken its toll since the summer of 2014 when Tripoli was invaded by militias forcing the elected bodies to flee and set up in the east of the country.
A leading businessman told Libya Herald today that ‘’the situation is deteriorating and no viable solution is at hand’’ to the current economic and financial of the country. [/restrict]