- Title: Reform pledges fail to appease protesters in Lebanon
- Date: 21st October 2019
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) ASSAD THEBIAN, ACTIVIST, SAYING: "I don't know which of the options for transport to take back home today whether it's the tramway or the train. (Lebanon has no public transportation system) We are used to Hariri's promises, before the elections he promised 900,000 jobs, they all promised reforms and to fight corruption, and here were are a year and a half later, what a lie, they claim to change and they are the ones who are corrupt themselves.''
- Embargoed: 4th November 2019 20:09
- Location: TRIPOLI, BEIRUT, JAL EL DIB AND SIDON, LEBANON
- City: TRIPOLI, BEIRUT, JAL EL DIB AND SIDON, LEBANON
- Country: Lebanon
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Civil Unrest
- Reuters ID: LVA003B21KRBB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Lebanon approved an emergency reform package on Monday (October 21) in response to protests over dire economic conditions, but the moves did not persuade demonstrators to leave the streets or investors to halt a plunge in its bonds.
Protesters sang into the night in Beirut and continued to demonstrate in other parts of the country.
Hundreds of thousands of people have flooded the streets since Thursday, furious at a political class they accuse of pushing the economy to the point of collapse. Roads were blocked for a fifth day across the country.
Schools, banks and businesses were closed, and the banks are expected to remain shut on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, in a televised speech, said the new measures might not meet the protesters' demands but were a start towards achieving some of them.
But despite the reforms, Lebanon's dollar-denominated bounds suffered hefty losses on Monday following sharp drops on Friday. Some sank to record lows.
Investors said the turmoil showed Lebanon was running out of time to fix its economic problems.
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: Alaa Kanaan, Walid Saleh, Hassan Hankir, Ayat Basma)
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