Oct 22, 2019 07:26 UTC
  • Lebanese cabinet announces new reforms on 5th day of protests

The Lebanese prime minister has announced the approval of a list of economic reforms amid continued anti-government protests in the country.

Speaking following a five-hour emergency cabinet session at the Presidential Palace, Hariri said the package of reforms includes cutting the salaries of all former and current MP’s by 50% and approving a law to return stolen public funds.

Hariri’s economic blueprint also includes privatizing mobile companies and eliminating certain government bodies. It does not contain any new taxes or fees on citizens.

Hariri also announced the approval of the draft 2020 state budget, with $3.3 billion in contributions from banks to achieve a 0.6 percent deficit.

At the Cabinet meeting, President Michel Aoun said the mass protests reflected people’s pain. However, he also said it was unfair to accuse all government members of being corrupt.

Although the cabinet announced the new reforms to ward off the crisis, it’s clear the protesters are those who decide if such solutions are enough to bring about change.

Following Hariri’s televised speech, millions of protesters reacted. Many expressed disappointment at the list of reforms, while others were satisfied with the government’s measures.