TRIPOLI, Lebanon: About a dozen lorry drivers blocked the main highway linking Beirut with north Lebanon in both directions for several hours Monday in protest against a new vehicle law.
The strike began at 8:30 a.m. with truckers blocking the road with their vehicles at the Bahsas intersection on the main Beirut-Tripoli highway, and ended shortly before midday.
The new law bans truck drivers – of which there are between 30,000 and 40,000 across Lebanon – from renewing their agricultural vehicle licenses unless they own land no less than 70,000 square meters.
The drivers, who considered the move “unrealistic,” decided to call off their protest in the hopes that government officials would reassess their measure.
But they threatened to block the road leading to the auto inspection center in Beirut should their demands not materialize.
Monday’s protest came after negotiations between Interior Minister Marwan Charbel and representatives of lorry drivers failed.