BEIRUT–As many Lebanese citizens enjoyed their day off on Labor Day yesterday, hundreds of other workers, both Lebanese and foreign, gathered in Martyr’s Square to protest against government corruption, especially the misallocation of public funds.
The march started off in Moseitbeh with members of the National Federation of Worker and Employee Trade Unions, or FENASOL. They were later met by the Lebanese Communist party in Mathaf, where they then marched towards Martyr’s Square.
Hundreds of Lebanese workers from all walks of life also joined the march, in addition to foreign workers, including domestic foreign workers from the Phillippines, Ethiopia, and Bangladesh. In the mix of marchers were also people banging loud drums and cars endowed with huge speakers.
According to FENASOL, they are planning to continue holding this event every year.
“We are forced to resist and raise our voice because this state every year is giving us more taxes and taking from us all our rights,” said FENASOL head Castro Abdullah via The Daily Star.
Another foreign domestic worker commented, “We’re asking for freedom. Today is Worker Day,” via The Daily Star.
Meanwhile, as the marchers were making their way to Martyr’s Square, the Cabinet met for the third time at the Grand Serail to discuss its draft of the budget amendments surrounding the state deficit, austerity measures, and generate revenues.
It is anticipated that the ministers will hold daily meetings to continue discussing the budget in order to come to a resolution as quickly as possible to send to Parliament. The draft has encountered some opposition by the Lebanese people for several reasons, including the 3 percent retirement decrease for military servicemen.
What will ensue from all of this is still yet to be seen, but the marching parties are adamant that the government corruption must come to an end.
Hopefully, these budget implementations will help Lebanon minimize its deficit and improve the economy.