Lebanon protests: Huge crowds on streets as government acts

10/23/2019 - 18:43 PM

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Beirut - Lebanon's government has approved a package of economic reforms as it attempts to quell the biggest protests to sweep the country in over a decade.

Measures include steps to cut Lebanon's huge deficit, slashing politicians' salaries by half and giving financial help to families in poverty.

In a televised address, PM Saad Hariri said the protesters had been heard.

It comes as demonstrators took part in a fifth day of protests and widespread strikes.

Hundreds of thousands of Lebanese have taken to the streets, angry at corruption and austerity measures.

The Lebanese economy is struggling with low growth and high debt, and a deteriorating infrastructure has made power cuts and piles of uncollected rubbish part of daily life.

What's the latest?

The Lebanese cabinet passed the raft of measures at an emergency meeting on Monday. Mr Hariri had hinted at resigning if the package was not approved.

The prime minister appeared on television immediately afterwards, acknowledging protesters' grievances.

"These decisions are not designed as a trade-off," he said, "They are not to ask you to stop expressing your anger. That is your decision to make."




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