Shop Owners Go on Strike in Regime-held Hama as Economic Meltdown Worsens
The economic crisis being suffered by civilians in the regime-controlled areas following the collapse of the Syrian pound against foreign currencies has triggered an outburst of anger against the regime. Dozens of shop owners in the city of Hama did not open their shops in the past two days in open defiance of the regime’s policies.
Activists reported that the move came in response to the collapse of the Syrian pound in recent weeks, which fell to a record low of 730 SYP against the US dollar.
Observers said that the fluctuations in the value of the Syrian pound is causing huge losses to traders, especially those who import their goods from abroad such as electrical appliances and foodstuffs.
Local sources pointed out that many shops in Al-Hadir district, the old souq, Al-Marabit Street, and March 8 Street have been closed in the past two days. Foreign exchange traders also stopped selling foreign currencies because of the instability of prices.
The collapse of the Syrian pound also caused a hike in the prices of some foodstuffs in Damascus, such as olive oil, whose price increased by 25%. Prices of rice, sugar and flour increased by 20-30% as a result of the depreciation of the Syrian pound.
The decline in the value of the Syrian pound does not affect the regime’s militiamen who blackmail traders and extort shop owners, but it directly reflects on the standard of living of the ordinary citizens in the regime-held areas. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)