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Lebanon: The General Security Directorate Starts a Campaign to Close Down Syrian Non-Compliant Shops

Expressive: Troops of the Lebanese General Directorate of General Security at the al-Hamra Street, Central Beirut (Facebook)

Expressive: Troops of the Lebanese General Directorate of General Security at the al-Hamra Street, Central Beirut (Facebook)

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The Lebanese General Directorate of General Security has announced a campaign, the aim of which is closing the non-compliant shops owned or run by Syrian nationals.

The campaign covers different areas in Akkar District only, where the General Security is undertaking inspection campaigns of the shops and foundations owned by Syrian people, the National News Agency, official representative of the Lebanese Government, reported on December 6.

The Agency reported that the General Security has yesterday sealed a jewelry shop in the town of Burj al-Arab, Akkar District, in addition to other commercial shops at the town of Halba.

The Agency did not mention the type of violations committed by these shops’ owners; however, they, in general, fall under the decrees of the Lebanese Ministry of Labor, relating to Syrian investments.

The Lebanese Ministry of Labor has, in February 2017, set up a number of conditions, which must be met by Syrian people wishing to start investment projects in Lebanon.

Provided by the decree, the Syrian project owner must be guaranteed by two or more Lebanese nationals, in addition to paying designated taxes, but if the shop is a small one, the decree stipulated that the shop owner employees a Lebanese person, in addition to paying the taxes.

Accordingly, dozens of Syrian shops throughout the Lebanese governorates had to be closed down, as a result of their owners’ inability to commit to the ordained conditions.

Lebanese people have constantly been complaining about the competition posed by the Syrian refugees in the labor market and have repeatedly demanded that their shops be closed. The municipality of the Beddawi town, Tripoli, for example, has issued a decision on last April 20, providing for shutting down all the shops and foundations managed or operated by Syrians and gave them one-week notice.

Last month, in the area of al-Zahrani, southern Lebanon,  streets were closed with burning tires, in a protest against the Syrian workforce that is competing with the Lebanese people.

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