FILE- Lebanese President Michel Aoun
BEIRUT, 21Oct. 2019: Lebanese President Michel Aoun said on Monday that protests gripping the country showed “people’s pain” but he stressed that accusing all politicians of corruption was not fair.
The government must at least start by lifting banking secrecy from current and future ministers, he said at the start of the a cabinet session at Baabda presidential palace.
"What is happening in the streets expresses people’s pain, but generalizing corruption (charges) against everyone carries big injustice,” An-Nahar newspaper quoted him as saying.
Earlier in the day, security forces stepped up security in the precincts of Baabda palace as the cabinet is meeting to approve a package of financial, economic and administrative reforms.
All roads leading to the presidential palace were sealed off in light of the massive demonstrations that gripped the country over the past four days in protest against economic conditions.
The cabinet meeting under Saad el Hariri will approve the State budget without imposing new taxes, the main demand of protesters who took to streets in the biggest show of dissent against State institutions in years.
Around 3.5 billion dollars will be allocated to achieve a near-zero deficit for the 2020 budget and accelerate steps to develop the electricity sector and set up power generation stations.