Protests across Lebanon on Tuesday continued against government’s policies in spite the reform measures announced by Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Al Jadeed local TV channel reported.
Protesters took to the streets for the sixth consecutive day and blocked the roads leading to the Central Bank in Beirut’s Hamra as well as other streets in different areas 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.
Meanwhile, banks remained closed while banking sources told Asharq Al-Awsat local newspaper that banks might probably keep their doors shut until further notice for security reasons.
However, the central bank had so far supplied commercial banks with liquidity in case people were willing to draw their money from Automated Teller Machines (ATM).
“Moreover, military veterans joined the protests while announcing that they will not leave the streets until the government meets all their demands.
“Some of the protesters expressed concern about government’s capacity to implement the reforms included in the new economic plan.
“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,’’ Asharq Al-Awsat report.
Hariri had announced earlier a number of reforms to help the country in overcoming its current economic and social crisis.
However, among the most important reforms announced by Hariri is a 2020 state budget with 0.6 per cent deficit, a cut in the salaries of ministers, parliament members and former MPs by 50 per cent.
Others are reduction in the budgets of the Council for Development and Reconstruction, and other public institutions by 70 per cent.
Hariri also said that the government would provide healthcare for the elderly, and inject an additional 20 billion Lebanese pounds (or 13.23 million U.S. dollars) for the support of the most vulnerable people.
This, he said, was in addition to constructing power stations and reducing 50 per cent of the electricity’s deficit in 2020, while allocating 165 million dollars for housing loans.