Retired Servicemen Erect Protest Tent at Riad al-Solh

W460

Retired officers and soldiers on Friday began a sit-in at the Riad al-Solh Square in downtown Beirut, erecting a tent which they called 'The Tent of the Nation's Martyrs' and banners saying 'The Servicemen's Rights are a Red Line'.

“We reject the imposition of taxes or the cut of a single lira from the salaries of retired or active servicemen,” they said in a statement.

“Some officials have insisted on slapping taxes on the retirees and they are trying to cut a percentage of their salaries,” the retirees warned.

“Those who robbed the people have come up with a state budget against the poor and middle classes,” they lamented.

The retired servicemen finally announced that they will keep the protest tent until Monday, May 20, when the anniversary of the Nahr al-Bared battle will be marked.

Lebanon is set to impose austerity measures to combat its bulging fiscal deficit. It is one of the world's most indebted countries, with public debt estimated at 141 percent of gross domestic product in 2018, according to credit ratings agency Moody's.

The budget for 2019 has yet to be finalized, but thousands of Lebanese public employees went on strike in the past weeks amid fears that their salaries and benefits would be cut as part of strict austerity measures to reduce a ballooning budget deficit and massive national debt. They included employees at Banque du Liban, Beirut's port, the Social National Security Fund and the main state-run landline telephone company.

Retired servicemen have also staged a series of protests across Lebanon.

SourceNaharnet
Comments 3
Thumb s.o.s 17 May 2019, 18:34

A retired army general gets $5000 plus drivers.... every month this doesn’t include any side business such as doing favors in return of money or other favors. They certainly don’t deserve our compassion. An army men who retired at the age of 39 gets a monthly $950 . Come on! Some people will diplomas don’t make as much when they’re in their 50s and still working .

Thumb whyaskwhy 17 May 2019, 19:15

Everyone is a red line in Lebanon and the nation comes last.

Missing rabiosa 18 May 2019, 17:35

Which is why the country is heading into collapse. No sane donor is going to give money to a corrupt banana republic.

Just take a courageous stand and cuts across the board in every agency in every bureaucracy,in every ministry.

The funny things it's always about cutting a salary yet you never hear about cutting down the size of the government. In my opinion that's were the problem is. Too many unnecessary Ministries. Like what's the purpose of the Information Ministry, What country still has those except dictatorships?