Lebanon: Hundreds of Thousands Protested Against Corruption Leading to Government Reforms, as the Economy Is on Brink of Collapse

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Lebanon has never recovered from its wars between 1975 to 1990, and it has the third highest debt ratio in the world. Protesters blamed the ruling elite for driving their children out of Lebanon because they failed to build a country that could provide jobs, as unemployment for under-35s is at 37%. A new reform package include a 50% cut in salaries of current and former presidents, ministers, government officials, and reductions in benefits for state institutions. It also includes the central bank and private banks contributing $3.3 billion to achieve a “near zero deficit” for the 2020 budget. The government also aims to privatize the telecommunications sector and overhaul the crumbling electricity sector.

President Michel Aoun headed a meeting of the Lebanese cabinet on Monday at the Baabda palace, his office said, as protests calling to oust the country’s ruling elite gripped the country.

The government is expected to approve reforms including halving ministers’ wages in a bid to ease the economic crisis and defuse the protests that brought hundreds of thousands of protesters to the streets for five days.

 

On Sunday, Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri agreed on a package of reforms with his government partners to tackle the crisis.

The reform plan includes a 50% cut in salaries of current and former presidents, ministers, lawmakers, and reductions in benefits for state institutions and officials.

It also includes the central bank and private banks contributing $3.3 billion to achieve a “near zero deficit” for the 2020 budget.

The government also aims to privatise the telecommunications sector and overhaul the crumbling electricity sector.

 

Hariri accused his rivals of obstructing his reform measures that could unlock $11 billion in Western donor pledges and help avert economic collapse.


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Lebanon: Hundreds of Thousands Protested Against Corruption Leading to Government Reforms, as the Economy Is on Brink of Collapse | WeAreChangeTV.US

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