Lebanon's retired officers rally in protest of possible cuts on wages, benefits

Source: Xinhua| 2019-04-30 15:54:49|Editor: xuxin
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BEIRUT, April 30 (Xinhua) -- Lebanon's retired military and security officers blocked on Tuesday entrances to Port of Beirut and the central bank to protest possible cuts on their retirement wages or benefits, the National News Agency reported.

The protests come ahead of a meeting for the council of ministers on Tuesday to discuss a draft austerity budget which aims at cutting the deficit-to-GDP ratio in 2019 to 9 percent from 11 percent in the previous year.

The Lebanese government is expected to discuss cuts to the end-of-service benefits for state employees and retired military personnel who may see a 3-percent cut to their pensions.

The draft budget also calls for a three-year hiring freeze in the public sector with certain exceptions, and for a 50-percent cut in the remunerations of the president, the prime minister, ministers and lawmakers.

Earlier in the day, Lebanese Defense Minister Elias Bou Saab announced that he will not accept any austerity measures at the expense of the Lebanese Army and military personnel.