Report: Aoun Presses Budget Talks on Thursdayإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
As Lebanon mulls austerity measures to slash its ballooning budget deficit, President Michel Aoun insists the 2019 state budget draft gets discussed in Cabinet during its upcoming meeting next week on Thursday, said al-Joumhouria daily on Friday.
Informed sources told the newspaper that “current consultations have not yet reached an understanding. There is more than one approach to the possible austerity measures.”
No budget agreement yet has been reached but leaks about possible wage cuts have led to random protests and street closures by members of a worried public.
Prime Minister Saad Hariri has warned of a “catastrophe” unless the government implements strict austerity measures to reduce a growing budget deficit and massive national debt.
The protest by more than 2,000 state employees in downtown Beirut early this week erupted amid discussions by the government of what it called "painful" and "unpopular" measures to be taken to try to cut the budget deficit and slow the growth of the national debt, which stands at more than $85 billion, or more than 150% of the gross domestic product, making it among the highest in the world.