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SHOES ON EMPTIED SHELVES BEIRUT, LEBANON (RECENT - FEBRUARY 19, 2020) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF WORKER SWEEPING DEBRIS FROM ''THE GATHERING'' RESTAURANT WHICH HAS CLOSED DOWN WORKER REMOVING TOILET SEAT FROM RESTAURANT AND PLACING IT ON FLOOR OF RESTAURANT'S MAIN HALL (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) WORKER AT THE GATHERING RESTAURANT, UNNAMED, SAYING (SOUNDBITE STARTS WITH WORKER DRILLING IN WALL): ''You used to eat the best pizza from this oven, at The Gathering.'' PIZZA OVEN AND WORKERS DRILLING EXTERIOR OF RESTAURANT AND WOODEN FURNITURE OUTSIDE BEIRUT, LEBANON (RECENT - FEBRUARY 17, 2020) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF SIGN AT STORE IN HAMRA DISTRICT READING (Arabic): ''EVERYTHING FOR HALF PRICE'' (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) VICE PRESIDENT OF WORKERS SYNDICATE, HASSAN FAKIH, SAYING: ''We can now say we are experiencing, as workers, to an economic "Corona" that has engulfed the workers and businesses. The latest statistic by Infopro (statistics firm) says that 220,000 jobs have disappeared.'' VARIOUS OF SIGN OF SHUT-DOWN RESTAURANT READING (English): "BAB TOUMA RESTO & BAR" VARIOUS OF SIGN OUTSIDE EMPTIED SHOP READING (English): "SPACE FOR RENT" BEIRUT, LEBANON (RECENT - FEBRUARY 18, 2020) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) HEAD OF INFOPRO STATISTICS AGENCY, RAMZI EL HAFEZ, SAYING: ''When you lose 220,000 jobs in three months for sure, this, compared to the size of Lebanon is a huge number and it is very hard for the society to withstand it. It is a social catastrophe.'' BEIRUT, LEBANON (RECENT - FEBRUARY 19, 2020) (REUTERS) SHOPS CLOSED DOWN AND SIGNS FOR RENT IN HAMRA SIGN READING (Arabic): "FOR RENT" BEIRUT, LEBANON (RECENT - FEBRUARY 18, 2020) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) HEAD OF INFOPRO STATISTICS AGENCY, RAMZI EL HAFEZ, SAYING: ''Today we are walking into a tunnel and we don't know where it ends. The companies that have closed down most of them have closed down for good, it is not temporary. Until the economy gets back on its feet, we will not see these jobs come back.'' BEIRUT, LEBANON (RECENT - FEBRUARY 19, 2020) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF THE GATHERING RESTAURANT BEING PACKED UP BEIRUT, LEBANON (RECENT - FEBRUARY 21, 2020) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) OWNER OF CONTRACTING COMPANY, MOHAMED SUKKAR, SAYING: ''In this situation everything is suspended, we are not able to do anything even cheques are being frozen by the bank for six months, so we are not able to do anything. The bank is asking you to pay suppliers in cheques but no supplier will accept that, they only accept in cash and in dollars. We've had to close down all the work and we're not taking up any new work.'' BEIRUT, LEBANON (MARCH 9, 2020) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF WORKER ON SIDE OF STREET (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) OWNER OF MONEY EXCHANGE OFFICE, HAJJ HALABI, SAYING: "These are 30 million (Lebanese liras) used to be worth $20,000. Today they have lost (value)." JOURNALIST ASKING: "How much money has been lost now?" "The value of this one (one stack, roughly one third), 10 million (Lebanese liras), we are really sorry for what is happening to the currency of our country." VARIOUS OF OLD MAN SMOKING CIGARETTE

Starved Of Dollars And Drowning In Debt, Lebanon's Economy Sinks Fast

Item ID: 127109541

By: Reuters

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