Syria more than doubles gasoline prices
Syria’s Ministry of Internal Trade has announced a gasoline price hike of around 130% in the war-torn country, which is facing fuel shortages and prolonged power outages.
The cost of a liter of subsidized fuel will rise to 2,500 Syrian pounds from 1,100 previously, a 127% increase, the ministry said in a statement quoted by the official SANA news agency on Saturday evening.
The cost of unsubsidized gasoline will rise from 3,500 to 4,000 Syrian pounds, the ministry added, AFP reported.
The increases mark the third time this year authorities have hiked the price of fuel, as the Syrian pound continues to depreciate.
The Syrian currency trades at around 4,250 to the dollar on the black market, compared to an official rate of 2,814.
“This measure will affect everyone,” said Raed al-Saadi, a warehouse worker. “Our pay is now enough to get us to work, and not even enough to get us home.”
“Life has become very difficult and I don’t know where this will take us,” the 48-year-old added.
Since the outbreak of war in 2011, Syria’s oil and gas sector has suffered losses amounting to tens of billions of dollars.
The economy has been hit hard by both the long war and the sanctions imposed on Damascus.
A UN commission in March called for a review of sanctions against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, fearing the measures would hit ordinary people too hard.
The conflict in Syria began in 2011 with the brutal crackdown on peaceful protests and escalated to attract foreign powers and global jihadists.
It killed around 500,000 people and displaced around half of the country’s pre-war population.