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Continued demonstrations for the fourth day .. Hariri put economic paper and Geagea demanding the government to resign

2019-10-20T14:19:45.063Z



Al-Jazeera correspondent in Lebanon said that Prime Minister Saad Hariri held a small ministerial meeting with a number of ministers representing Amal Movement, Hezbollah, the Marada Movement and the Free Patriotic Movement.

They discussed the economic paper presented by Hariri to the political forces represented by his government, including popular demands. The PSP is scheduled to announce its position at a news conference.

Al-Jazeera correspondent quoted a source in the Progressive Party as saying that they presented Hariri an economic paper as well, containing immediate procedural proposals that may contribute to finding a solution to the crisis.

For his part, the head of the Lebanese Forces Party Samir Geagea said that the resignation of the government is a big mistake, and called for the formation of a government of technocrats.

"We have come to the conviction that this government is incapable of taking the necessary steps to save the worsening economic and financial situation," Geagea told a press conference in Maarab, adding that his party decided to ask its ministers to resign.

The party announced last night the resignation of its four ministers from the government, in a move downplayed by the protesters.

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Continuous demonstrations
In the meantime, there were demonstrations for the fourth consecutive day in various areas, including the center of the capital Beirut, Tripoli in the north of the country, and Jbeil, Sidon and Tire.

Protesters are demanding the departure of the ruling political class, the fight against corruption and the recovery of looted funds.

The Association of Lebanese Banks announced that all banks will be closed on Monday because of the protests.

The protests were triggered by anger over rising living costs and plans to impose new charges, including charges for voice calls via WhatsApp, a move the authorities quickly backed down after the country's biggest protests erupted in decades.

After the worsening of the situation, the Prime Minister gave the political partners a 72-hour period ending tomorrow evening to provide solutions to economic reform and respond to popular demands.

Hariri's partners in the government are the Free Patriotic Movement, Hezbollah and their allies, who hold the ministerial majority, and are required to reaffirm their commitment to pursue reforms the government pledged last year to the international community in return for $ 11.6 billion in grants and loans.

In 2018, the economy grew barely 0.2%, and successive governments have failed to undertake structural reforms in a country plagued by debt and corruption.

Lebanon suffers from insufficient provision of basic services and sagging infrastructure. Public debt is estimated at more than $ 86 billion, more than 150% of GDP.

Source: aljazeera

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