Lebanese president says central bank directive on bank withdrawals still in force

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Lebanese President Michel Aoun said on Thursday a directive allowing depositors to withdraw from their dollar accounts at a fixed rate of 3,900 to the dollar was still in force.

“A decision to regard circular 151 issued by the central bank still in force has been made,” a statement by the presidency after a meeting that included central bank chief Riad Salameh said.

Lebanon will continue allowing depositors to withdraw from their dollar accounts at a fixed rate of 3,900 pounds/dollar, Lebanon’s central bank chief said on Thursday.

Riad Salameh made his comments after a meeting with President Michel Aoun in which the matter was discussed.

The bank had asked the state consultative council to review its decision to stop letting depositors withdraw at the rate after protests erupted on Wednesday night.

Photo: A Lebanese anti-government protester wears a mask resembling the Lebanese Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh as she protests outside the Lebanese Central Bank. EPA-EFE/WAEL HAMZEH