Lebanese soldiers block central bank entrances over pension cuts

Retired Lebanese soldiers block central bank entrances in dispute over pension cuts
1 min read
13 May, 2019
Retired Lebanese soldiers blocked the entrances to the Central Bank of Lebanon over a dispute about pension cuts.
Protesting ex-soldiers gather outside the Central Bank of Lebanon (Getty)

At least 100 retired soldiers protested outside Lebanon's central bank on Sunday evening, blocking its entrances, to protest pension and benefit cuts as the Lebanese government debates a draft budget.

The Central Bank of Lebanon is operating normally despite the entrances being blocked, a central bank official told the news agency Reuters on Monday after employees entered the bank the night before.

The protest took place while the Lebanese government met to try to agree a budget which would reduce the country’s fiscal deficit. Lebanon is a heavily indebted country, with one of the world’s biggest public debts compared to the size of its economy. The debt stands at roughly 150 percent of GDP.

Central bank workers had previously gone on strike after reports that proposed government austerity measures would reduce their salaries by 25 percent but called it off after it paralysed the economy and forced the closure of the Lebanese Stock Market.

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