LEBANON VETERANS CRY 'THIEVES' AS LEADERS TALK CUTS TO BENEFITS

LEBANON HAS WITNESSED A SPATE OF PROTESTS OVER THE LAST TWO WEEKS AS THE GOVERNMENT DISCUSSED AUSTERITY MEASURES TO REDUCE STATE EXPENDITURE IN THE UPCOMING BUDGET.

THEY BURNED TYRES AND CHANTED SLOGANS CALLING LEBANON'S LEADERS THIEVES AND CLAIMED THEY WERE BEING MADE TO PAY FOR THE FAILURES OF INEFFECTIVE AND CORRUPT POLITICIANS.

"Veterans have served our country," he said.
It should focus on broader cuts in state expenditure instead of singling out the weaker sections of society, he said.
He said that there had been a dispute between the defence minister on one side and the prime minister and the finance minister on the other.
"We are sure that he meant what he said but he is not the only one to decide," said Sayyed.
"So far, we have not received any official confirmation on the set of the demands," he said.
He told Al Jazeera that public-sector employees had called off their protests until Monday after the three top leaders committed to meeting their demands.
"The president, the PM and the speaker told us that they would try and exclude the workers from the cuts," he said.
"They said that if we did not stop protesting it would impact Lebanon's economy and that is why we are giving them some time," he added.

Veterans protested outside the Lebanese prime minister's office in Beirut on Friday against proposed austerity measures which would affect their end-of-services benefits and cut the pension by three percent. They burned...

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