- Title: Facing protests, Lebanon approves emergency economic reforms
- Date: 21st October 2019
- Summary: PROTESTER HOLDING PLACARD READING (English): 'POLITICIANS ARE LIKE SPERM. ONE IN A MILLION TURNS OUT TO BE HUMAN', SECOND PLACARD READING (Arabic): 'CORRUPT POLITICAL CLASS' PROTESTERS CHANTING (Arabic): 'REVOLUTION' PROTESTERS WATCHING PRIME MINISTER SAAD AL-HARIRI'S SPEECH ON THEIR MOBILE PHONE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) LEBANESE PROTESTER, HAMADA TALEB, SAYING: "They are trying to fool us, they think we are a bunch of sheep. It is enough, let them leave us alone, we need a new life." VOLUNTEERS WITH THE PROTESTERS WALKING (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) LEBANESE PROTESTER, BARIHA AL-HILAL, SAYING: "The clauses that were put are very good. I am one of those who are going to the protests, right, but I am against destroying the non-functional house, we can't destroy it and demand everything at once, we need to fix it slowly. The reforms he (referring to Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri) are very good. I wish they will be implemented."
- Embargoed: 4th November 2019 17:29
- Keywords: Lebanon protests Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri economy anti-government protests
- Location: TRIPOLI AND NABATIEH, LEBANON
- City: TRIPOLI AND NABATIEH, LEBANON
- Country: Lebanon
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Civil Unrest
- Reuters ID: LVA002B21JU4N
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: CONTAINS PROFANE LANGUAGE
Lebanon approved an emergency package of economic reforms on Monday (October 21) in response to nationwide protests against economic mismanagement, but demonstrations continued and foreign investors said the moves did not go far enough.
Hundreds of thousands of people have flooded the streets since Thursday (October 17), furious at a political class they accuse of pushing the economy to the point of collapse.
On Monday protesters blocked roads for a fifth day across the country. Schools, banks and businesses were closed. Banks would remain shut on Tuesday (October 22).
Hariri, addressing the protesters in a televised speech, said the measures agreed on Monday might not meet their demands but were a start towards achieving some of them. The government must work to regain the people's trust, he said.
The reforms included the symbolic halving of the salaries of government ministers and lawmakers, as well as moves towards implementing long-delayed measures seen as vital to putting Lebanon's public finances on a sustainable path.
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: Walid Saleh, Karamallah Daher, Yara Abi Nader)
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