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People protest for third day against high prices and corruption in al-Suwayda city

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Editing: Mais Noor Aldeen |
Translation: Nouha Salti

Al- Suwayda - SMART

On Saturday, people protested for the third consecutive day in the Syrian government-controlled city of al-Suwayda, Southern Syria, to denounce corruption and high prices.

Eyewitnesses reported to SMART that dozens gathered in front of the city hall building and near the Syriatel company offices to demonstrate under the slogan, “We want to live.” The demonstrators denounced corruption of the Syrian government and demanded the prosecution of those who are responsible for the deterioration of economic conditions after the declination of the Syrian pound value.

The demonstrators raised banners that read, “we have no guns or gunpowder; we have a right that cannot die,” “You fought us with our living,” and “You decided our protests for us,” in addition to crying out, “To Makhlouf and to Shalish, the Syrian people want to live.”

For three days, people of the city of al-Suwayda and the town of Shahba protested, demanding the Syrian government to fix the deteriorating economic and living conditions.

People in most areas of Syria, especially in government-controlled areas, suffer from high prices of basic materials and the low purchasing power of the SYP. The SYP exchange rate against the United States dollar deteriorated dramatically due to the Syrian government’s economic policies, according to economic analysts.

Prices of basic materials, fuels, livestock, heating devices, and other goods have increased all over Syria, especially in Syrian government-controlled areas due to the declining exchange rate of the SYP against the USD.

On Tuesday, the SYP exchange rate continued to decline, reaching more than 1,050 SYP per one dollar in the Syrian government-controlled areas and an average of 1,025 in the governorates out of the Syrian government control.

This declination is considered the worst in the history of Syria since its independence and the separation between the Syrian and Lebanese pounds. One USD used to equal two SYP in 1961, and 47 SYP in 2010, while since 2011, the value of the SYP went on a continuous and fast declination until present day.