After five days of unprecedented popular protests in Lebanon, Prime Minister Saad Hariri was in favor on Monday (October 21st) of the holding of early elections demanded by the protesters. "Your voice is heard, and if you call for early elections (...), I, Saad Hariri, I am personally with you," said the head of government at a press conference.

Saad Hariri also assured that he was not trying to buy social peace with the 2020 budget and the series of economic reforms adopted Monday by the cabinet.

Reduced wages for the political class

Among the government's measures is the halving of the salaries of presidents, ministers and parliamentarians, who are in office or are honorary. Saad Hariri also plans to lower various benefits granted to senior officials.

The head of government also announced that the Ministry of Information and other public institutions will be purely and simply deleted.

Private banks put to contribution

At the financial level, private banks will at the same time contribute to the reduction of the budget deficit to 5 100 billion Lebanese pounds, or 3.03 billion euros, including through a tax on profits.

The draft budget adopted by the Council of Ministers provides for a deficit of 0.6% in 2020, said Saad Hariri.

>> To read: "Beirut, Lebanese protesters united to 'get a change'"

The government will also accelerate the issuance of licenses to build new power plants, a way to respond to the crisis in this expensive and failing sector that weighs particularly on public finances.

The day before this speech, the partners of the government coalition agreed on these measures in an attempt to put an end to popular protest.

These were announced at the end of an extraordinary meeting of the government, while the protest movement triggered Thursday calls for the departure of the entire political class deemed corrupt and unable to find solutions to the serious economic crisis. and social that endures.

With AFP and Reuters