- Title: Lebanon's protesters unconvinced by PM's reform proposals
- Date: 21st October 2019
- Summary: BEIRUT, LEBANON (OCTOBER 21, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS GATHERING OUTSIDE GOVERNMENT HEADQUARTERS IN CENTRAL BEIRUT LISTENING TO PRIME MINISTER SAAD AL-HARIRI'S SPEECH PROTESTERS BOOING AS THEY LISTEN TO HARIRI SPEAKING LEBANESE PROTESTER MAYA MHANNA AND OTHER PROTESTERS CHANTING (Arabic): 'LIAR' DURING SPEECH PROTESTERS CLAPPING AND CHANTING (Arabic): 'LEAVE' (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) LEBANESE PROTESTER MAYA MHANNA, TEACHER AND MOTHER OF TWO, SAYING: "We are not leaving the streets, we don't believe not even a quarter of a word of what he's said. Now we are saying what he is hearing: the people are demanding the fall of the regime. We don't believe a word of what he's said, not me, not anyone else." PROTESTERS CHANTING (Arabic): 'WE ARE NOT LEAVING' PROTESTERS CHANTING (Arabic): 'THE PEOPLE WANT TO TOPPLE THE REGIME' PROTESTERS LISTENING TO HARIRI'S SPEECH PROTESTER GESTURING AND SHOUTING (Arabic): 'LIAR' (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) 37-YEAR-OLD RESIDENT OF BEIRUT, WHO DID NOT WANT TO GIVE HIS NAME, SAYING: "Lies, lies, lies, lies. Nothing will happen. If it were going to rain, there would have been clouds for a long time. They have been ruling for a long time, if they wanted to do something, they would have done it." BANNER SHOWING SOME PROTESTERS' DEMANDS, READING (Arabic): "FORMING A GOVERNMENT OF INDEPENDENT SPECIALISTS, EARLY PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS, PASSING A LAW RESTORING STOLEN PUBLIC FUNDS' PROTESTERS LISTENING TO HARIRI'S SPEECH VARIOUS OF PROTESTS WALKING IN CENTRAL BEIRUT SIDON, LEBANON (OCTOBER 21, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WATCHING HARIRI SPEAKING ON TELEVISION IN A COFFEE SHOP
- Embargoed: 4th November 2019 14:31
- Keywords: Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri Beirut Sidon Lebanon protesters economic crisis
- Location: BEIRUT AND SIDON, LEBANON
- City: BEIRUT AND SIDON, LEBANON
- Country: Lebanon
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001B21JRRB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Protesters gathered in central Beirut on Monday (October 21) for the announcement of new government reforms, but were unconvinced by Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri's efforts to defuse the economic crisis.
The government approved a 2020 budget with no new taxes and a deficit of around 0.6% compared to the targeted level of around 7% for 2019, Hariri said.
The reforms also included the symbolic step of halving the salaries of government ministers and lawmakers, as well as moves towards implementing long-delayed changes seen as vital to putting Lebanon's public finances on a sustainable path.
But protesters watching the televised speech in central Beirut chanted "lies, lies, lies" and "leave". One teacher listening to the speech, Maya Mhana, said she was not convinced and that protesters would remain on the streets.
Across the country, people blocked roads for a fifth day. Schools, banks and businesses closed. Hundreds of thousands of people have flooded the streets, furious at a political class they accuse of pushing the economy to the point of collapse.
The protests have been extraordinary because of their size and geographic reach in a country where political movements are normally divided on sectarian lines and struggle to draw nationwide appeal.
(Production: Imad Creidi, Ahmad El Kerdi, Hassan Hankir, Imad Creidi, Yara Abi Nader)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None