Lebanon witnesses nationwide strike amid fears of salaries cut in public sector

Source: Xinhua| 2019-05-20 17:51:50|Editor: Xiaoxia
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BEIRUT, May 20 (Xinhua) -- Lebanon's public sector waged a nationwide strike on Monday amid fears that the 2019 state budget would cut salaries of public employees, local media reported.

Public and some of the private schools in different parts of the country, municipalities, public sector employees in multiple administrations and port of Beirut took part in the strike, according to the National News Agency.

Meanwhile, over 500 state employees and public and private school teachers gathered in Nabatieh, south of Lebanon, to take the buses to Beirut where they will join in a protest.

Nawal Nasr, head of Lebanese League of Public Administration Employees, previously announced that public administration workers would strike indefinitely if the budget reduced their wages.

The council of ministers is currently studying the 2019 draft budget, while it is expected to end its discussions of the different provisions included in the budget in the coming two days to transfer it to the parliament for approval.

Public sector employees including military personnel have been waging demonstrations in the past two weeks to protest a possible cut in their wages aimed at reducing the state budget's deficit.

Endorsing a state budget that slashes the deficit is among the measures the government has pledged to take as part of the key financial and economic reforms recommended at last year's CEDRE Conference.

To curb Lebanon's budget deficit, which increased to over 11 percent of GDP, the cabinet will seek to reduce the deficit by 1 percent each year over the next five years by limiting government expenditures.