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Cabinet Resumes Discussing Austerity Budget at Grand Serail

May 02

Cabinet Resumes Discussing Austerity Budget at Grand Serail

Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Wednesday chaired a Cabinet meeting at the Grand Serail dedicated to resume discussions to approve the country's draft austerity budget.

Lebanon's economy is suffering from slow growth, a high budget deficit and massive debt.

Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil told reporters after a Cabinet meeting in Baabda Tuesday that the government aims to reduce the percentage of the budget deficit compared with the gross domestic product.

Leaks through the media about steps that could include cutting end of service and social benefits of civil servants have led to protests around Lebanon by retired military personnel and others.

The Labor Union called for a three-day strike starting Thursday if workers' demands are not met.

Khalil said he does not know the reason behind the call for the strike adding that the budget has not been approved yet.

naharnet