Protests Continue Across Lebanon Despite PM’s Reform Measures

Protests Continue Across Lebanon Despite PM’s Reform Measures

BEIRUT, Oct 23 (NNN-NNA) – Protests across Lebanon continued Tuesday, to demonstrate against government policies, despite the reform measures announced by Prime Minister, Saad Hariri, a day earlier.

Protesters took to the streets for the sixth consecutive day, and blocked the streets leading to the central bank in Beirut’s Hamra, and other streets of the country.

The Lebanese army was deployed all over Lebanon, in an attempt to clear roads of barriers set by protesters, and facilitate the transportation for regular movement of citizens across the country.

Banks remained closed on Tuesday, while banking sources said that, banks may probably keep their doors shut until next Monday for security reasons, and to avoid a high demand by people for their deposits.

However, the central bank has supplied commercial banks with liquidity, in case people are willing to draw money from ATM machines.

Military veterans also joined the protests, announcing that, they will not leave the streets until the government meets all their demands.

Others expressed their dissatisfaction about the reforms, emphasising the need to remove the secret bank accounts of all politicians, and adopt concrete measures to restore people’s confidence and trust.

Hariri announced a day earlier a number of reforms to help the country overcome its current economic crisis.

Among the most important reforms announced by Hariri is a 2020 state budget with 0.6 percent deficit, a cut in the salaries of ministers, parliament members and former MP’s by 50 percent, a reduction in the budgets of the Council for Development and Reconstruction, and other public institutions by 70 percent.

Hariri also said that the government will provide healthcare for the elderly, and inject an additional 20 billion Lebanese pounds (13.23 million U.S. dollars) for support of the most vulnerable people, in addition to constructing power stations and reducing 50 percent of the electricity’s deficit in 2020, while allocating 165 million dollars for housing loans.– NNN-NNA


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