The most awaited speech of our Prime Minister Saad Hariri is here. After the 72-hours deadline for his cabinet to enact reforms, PM Hariri addressed the country in a televised speech, after a cabinet session held at Baabada, announcing an approved reform paper along with government partners, as well as as the 2020 state budget.
The reform paper included 24 wide terms and, as per the National News Agency, these terms include:
- A budget with 0.6 % deficit
- Reduction of the budget of the South and Reconstruction Council by 70%
- Reduction of the salaries of ministers and deputies by 50%
- $160 million to support housing loans
- Preparation of a draft law to restore looted state funds
- A law to form a national body to fight corruption
- Abolishment of the Ministry of Information, and the development of a plan to abolish unnecessary institutions
- Approval of CEDRE's first five projects to create job opportunities within the next 5 years.
Commenting on the decision, PM Hariri stated: "The decisions that we have taken might not fulfill your demands, but it fulfills what I have been calling for, "I will not allow anyone to scare you, and it's the government's duty to protect your peaceful demands."
He concluded by addressing the Lebanese and the protesters, saying: "I will not ask protesters to stop their demonstrations and if they want early parliamentary elections I will support that," he added.
In this regard, protesters reacted negatively to Hariri's announcement, especially that most of them knew that it will come to what could be partial measures. During and after Hariri's speech, these protesters went on chanting Revolution and The people want the fall of the regime, announcing that they will stay in the street until their demands are met. They also called on all citizens to take to the streets and join the sit-in.
Last Friday, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri addressed Lebanon and his cabinet on a televised speech after protests spread throughout the country. His speech was clear in that he was giving his political partners in the government 72-hours to prove that they will implement reforms.
In his speech back then, MP Hariri stated, "Whatever the solution was, we no longer have time." Giving himself a very short deadline "so that either our partners in the nation would give a clear answer about the solution that will convince me, the Lebanese, the international community, and everyone who is protesting today, or I will have a different approach. And the deadline is short, 72 hours."
A day after PM Hariri's speech, the president of the "Lebanese Forces" political party Samir Geagea announced in a statement the resignation of all four ministers belonging to the "Lebanese Forces" party in the government. Similarly, on Sunday, Leader of the Druze Progress Socialist Party Walid Joumblatt hinted that his ministers will resign if reforms are not implemented.