In the last two months, more than 265 restaurants, cafes and other food-and-beverage establishments have closed up shop, the Syndicate of Owners of Restaurants, Cafes, Nightclubs and Patisseries said in a statement Monday.
The syndicate said it expected the number to increase by a further 200 just this month, bringing the total to 465 institutions closed.
It noted that the issue was not tied directly to the uprising that has swept the country since Oct. 17: The sector "was dying before the start of the revolution and is now in a total coma."
Lebanon's economy and finances have increasingly headed toward collapse over the past year, with zero growth and low inflows of remittances from abroad pressuring the decades-old currency peg.
The syndicate noted a previous warning made before Oct. 17 that Lebanon was missing all the essential components for life, on the social, economic, financial and environmental levels, compounded by a lack of purchasing power.
"Be responsible, if only for once," the statement said, in a plea to politicians. The syndicate called for the formation of a government that satisfies "the people, investors and the international community."
Lebanon has been without a government for nearly a month, and President Michel Aoun has still not set a date for binding parliamentary consultations to designate a new prime minister - the first step in forming a new government.
The syndicate also warned it may begin taking unspecified escalatory measures. "We will undertake many initiatives and will beat on the drums, because the situation is no longer tolerable."
source : DailyStar