Press "Enter" to skip to content

Lebanon Place to Reduce ministers’ Cover as protests engulf country

Lebanon’s cabinet is expected to accept reforms such as halving ministers’ salary on Monday in an attempt to facilitate an economic meltdown and defuse protests which are the largest show of dissent from the ruling elite in years.

Protesters blocked streets for a fifth day of demonstrations evidenced from the crippling financial conditions and anger in perceived corruption of the political elite which has led Lebanon to the catastrophe.

Officials told Reuters on Sunday the Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri had agreed a package of reforms together with his administration partners to tackle the crisis which has pushed hundreds of thousands of protesters to the streets.

The government is supposed to meet at 10:30 a.m. (0730 GMT) in the presidential palace at the Beirut suburb of Baabda.

In central Beirut, scene of the most significant protest, people ready for a different day of presentations.

“When we get reforms, for a start it is fine, to calm the storms down, people are mad… but about the very long run, I do not know whether it is going to make a shift,” said Rida Jammoul, soccer coach, who had been helping clean-up in Beirut.

“We will remain here and we will not open the streets everything happens,” he stated, manning a roadblock at the Zouk Mikhael region north of Beirut.

The reform strategy contains a 50% reduction in wages of former and current presidents, ministers and lawmakers, in addition to reductions in benefits for state officials and institutions.

Additionally, it comprises the central bank and banks donating $3.3 billion to attain a”near-zero deficit” for the 2020 budget.

The government also intends to privatize the telecommunications industry and also overhaul the pricey and crumbling electricity industry, among the largest strains on Lebanon’s depleted financing.

Hariri, who leads a coalition cabinet mired in political and sectarian rivalries, gave his feuding authorities a 72-hour deadline on Friday to agree reforms to ward off emergency, hinting he would otherwise measure.

The protests have spread throughout the nation because of Thursday. Banks were closed on Monday and the primary labor union went on strike, threatening additional paralysis.

“The message to the politicians would be doing not ever underestimate the ability of these people because after they combine they will burst — ” said Hiba Dandachli, 36, a social entrepreneur who had been helping organize the cleanup.

“There are kids, households, all from different religions and backgrounds,” she explained. “When the politicians understand from this they’ll discover how to direct the nation far better.”