Protesters attempt to storm Lebanon's government headquarters

The government’s planned budget cuts have unleashed a wave of public discontent, amid leaks that austerity could target public wages, services and social benefits.

20 May 2019 | 18:18

Source: Associated Press

  • Source: Associated Press
  • Last update: 20 May 2019 | 18:18

Lebanese retired soldiers protest in front of the government building during a cabinet meeting to discuss an austerity budget, in Beirut, Lebanon, Friday, May 10, 2019. (AP Photo)

BEIRUT: Lebanese security forces have opened heavy water cannons on anti-austerity protests in the capital city, as the government faces a looming fiscal crisis.

Over one hundred protesters gathered Monday outside the Government House in downtown Beirut shouting “Thieves, thieves!” as the Cabinet met for its 16th session to reach agreement on controversial budget cuts.

Protesters pushed back against police lines and set fire to tires outside the building,

The government’s planned budget cuts have unleashed a wave of public discontent, amid leaks that austerity could target public wages, services and social benefits.

Among those demonstrating Monday were retired army officers and public and private school teachers. Lebanon’s economy is struggling with soaring debt, rising unemployment and slow growth. The government’s budget and key reforms aim to unlock billions of dollars in pledged foreign assistance.

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