Proposed reforms to be presented to Cabinet Today
Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri has agreed to a package of reforms with government partners to ease an economic crisis that has sparked nationwide protests, official sources told Reuters, with a Cabinet meeting expected on Monday to approve them.
Widespread protests were triggered in part by a government decision last week to put a levy on WhatsApp calls. Lebanon has been hit by several days of protests ever since.
- 50% reduction in the salaries of current and former officials
- $3.3 billion in contributions from banks to achieve a “near zero deficit” for the 2020 budget
- Privatisation of Lebanon’s telecommunications sector
- Overhaul of country’s crippled power generation sector
- No additional taxes or fees
- Establishment of new regulatory and transparency bodies within a “short period” of time to oversee reform plans
- An end to “rampant corruption destroying the economy”
On Sunday night, protesters have declared on Twitter that tomorrow, Monday (October 21, 2019) will commence a “general strike” all over Lebanon.
A cabinet meeting is expected on Monday to approve the proposed reforms. Hariri is leading a coalition government mired by sectarian and political rivalries and has given his feuding government partners a 72-hour deadline on Friday to agree to reforms that could ward off the crisis, hinting he may otherwise resign.