Lebanese president calls on people to accept austerity measures to avoid economic deterioration

President Michel Aoun called on the Lebanese people to sacrifice and contribute to the success of the austerity measures that will be taken in the 2019 state budget, the presidency’s website reported.

“The economic situation is very difficult but we can overcome challenges,” the president said.

Aoun said that people should sacrifice in a bid to protect Lebanon’s economy, otherwise everybody will lose the country.

Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil is expected to present the final figures of the 2019 budget later in the day.

The 2019 budget may include a reduction in salaries of public sector employees which triggered multiple demonstrations against such possible measures.

A confrontation took place on Monday between protesters and police soldiers in the capital Beirut during a demonstration organized by retired military personnel and other public sector employees against the proposed austerity measures.

Local TV channels broadcasted footage of demonstrators trying to reach the Grand Serail where the council of ministers was convening to discuss the 2019 state budget.