Lebanon's Hariri agrees to reforms amid protests
After days of nationwide protests, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri and his government partners on Sunday agreed on a package of reforms to ease an economic crisis.
Eve Johnson reports.
After four days of protests, change may be coming to Lebanon.
Officials told Reuters that on Sunday (October 20) Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri and his government partners agreed to a package of reforms. Protests have spread across the country since Thursday (October 17), fuelled by an economic crisis and anger at government corruption, the biggest such demonstrations in decades.
Rallies on Sunday (October 20) filled the central square in Beirut, sometimes looking more like a party, DJ and all.
Following news of the reform package, some protesters said they planned to carry on.
(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PROTESTER AND GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE, GEORGE RAAD, SAYING (IN RESPONSE TO MOVES BY THE CABINET TO APPROVE WIDE SCALE REFORMS): "We will remain on the streets because this is not enough.
We want the cabinet to resign and have early elections and justice against all those who stole from the state.
Unless those things happen we are not leaving the street.'' The coalition government led by Prime Minister Hariri has been bogged down in political infighting Hariri has accused his rivals of blocking reforms that could unlock $11 billion in Western donations and stave off an economic collapse.
Under the new agreement, top officials would see their salaries slashed by half.
It also includes plans to try and deal with the country's massive debt.
Government sources said Hariri's cabinet will meet on Monday to approve the reforms.