On the 12th day of the nationwide protests that took over Lebanon on Oct. 17, with demands from citizens to topple the corrupt government, Lebanese Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh told CNN the country was days away from "economic collapse."

During the Monday interview with the international news outlet, Salameh worded his sympathy with those protesting but said he believes their actions have paralyzed the nation. He also called on Prime Minister Saad Hariri and local political parties to find an immediate solution to the situation. Salameh stressed that the local economy is highly dependent on the earnings of Lebanese diaspora and the money they send back home. 

According to the Banque du Liban governor, the ongoing uprising (not the decades of corruption) created instability in the country. This may have, according to Salameh, lowered expats' confidence in Lebanon's economy, meaning they may stop wiring money over. 

His statement proved to be far from accepted among the Lebanese, which prompted him to issue a clarification after his interview was circulated online. Speaking to Reuters, Salameh explained that CNN's headline "Lebanon protests threaten economy" did not reflect what he meant. 

"I am not saying that we are going to have a collapse in a matter of days. I am saying we need to have a solution in a matter of days to regain confidence and avoid collapse in the future," he stated.

The official added that the country's banks - which have been closed for 11 working days so far - would reopen "as soon as the situation calms down." He also refuted claims that he asked local banks to close, adding that "the local currency peg to the dollar would be maintained." 

Salameh's statement and backtracking angered many

"We're in the streets because there's an economic crisis, not vice versa." 

Though he tried to clarify his original statements, the banker's comments didn't go down well with thousands in Lebanon, who criticized him for failing to mention the fact that the country has been facing an imminent economic collapse for months. 

Others called Salameh out on not acknowledging the fact that Lebanon's pre-existing economic woes were part of what drove people to protest in the first place. Many questioned why he only warned of such collapse amid protests even though he said the economy was doing fine just weeks back. 

Many were understandably outraged by the statements

"Don't hide 30 years of corruption and bad policymaking and try to blame 12 days of protests for the looming crisis"

Excuse us, Mr. Salameh

"Guess what?"

The protests didn't cause the country's problems

Case in point

Lebanon's protests toppled the government on Tuesday

Late on Tuesday, 13 days after the protests started, Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his government's resignation and handed it over to the country's President Michel Aoun. Activists say that though this is a huge step forward, it's only one of several needed moves to reform the entire ruling system.

Hariri's resignation came just hours after members - said to be part of Hezbollah and the Amal Movement - violently attacked protesters in Martyrs' Square and the Ring bridge. 

Millions have been protesting in Lebanon in demonstrations that were partly triggered by the government's plans to introduce new taxes including a now-canceled tax on internet-based phone calls happening on apps such as WhatsApp.

However, the movement wasn't just a reaction to the proposed excise but also came in response to the government's passivity, corruption, and lack of proactive plans and solutions to soothe the country's economic crisis and all other problems it is facing. Last week, the country's Lebanese Forces parliamentary bloc requested that its four ministers in government submit their resignation, while PM Hariri announced a reform plan that protesters rejected

On Thursday, Aoun addressed the nation on television for the first time, yet he failed to quell protests. A day later, the leader of Lebanese political party and organization Hezbollah Hassan Nasrallah spoke out against the revolt in a televised speech. In it, he spoke against a government resignation. He has yet to make a statement on Hariri's move.