Lebanon Protests: Hariri Gives 72-Hour Deadline to Solve Crisis, Bassil Says Government Should Resign
The Lebanese people took to the streets on Thursday night to protest against new taxes imposed by the government, and are still rallying until the moment.
The spontaneous popular movement paralyzed the entire country as angry protesters blocked almost all main roads and many other areas in protest against the Lebanese government that led the country’s already ailing economy to the brink.
After about 24 hours of non-stopping protests, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri addressed the nation in a brief speech in which he confessed that the country is passing through an unprecedented critical situation.
“I feel the pain of the Lebanese and I support every peaceful movement,” Hariri said.
He further gave the Lebanese political parties a 72-hour deadline to agree on a solution to the current crisis.
For his part, Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil spoke earlier in the day, stressing that proposing a firm solution to the budget and the economy is a must.
The protests that have swept across Lebanon over the past two days should be used as an opportunity to rescue the country, rather than let it descend into turmoil, Bassil said.
“What is happening could either be an opportunity to save Lebanon or create chaos,” Bassil said, following a meeting of ministers from the Strong Lebanon parliamentary bloc at Baadba Palace, headed by President Michel Aoun.
He further set a condition for the government, saying it should resign hadn’t it approved the budget before the 31st of this month.
On Thursday night, bodyguards of Minister of Education and Higher Education Akram Shehayeb opened fire on protesters who blocked the road in front of his convoy in Beirut.
Today, also, a young man lost his life in north Lebanon after bodyguards of former MP Musbah al-Ahdab opened fire against angry protesters who didn’t want him to participate in their rally.