Lebanon Protests Continue, as President Aoun Says ‘Corruption Has Eaten the Country to the Bone’
Oct. 24, 2019 (EIRNS)—As the Lebanese masses took to the street for the seventh day in a row, today President Michel Aoun broke his silence and addressed the people. Blaming the economic woes that have brought Lebanese citizens from all ethnic and sectarian groups into the street, Aoun said corruption has “eaten the country to the bone.” “Everyone who stole public wealth must be brought to account,” he insisted. “We were talking about fighting corruption every day ... let’s see the bank accounts of all officials, thieves have no sects,” reported The National, a U.A.E. daily.
But it is not only the Lebanese nationals who are out on the streets—the non-Lebanese residents are also there. The latest numbers state that there are more than 1.5 million Syrian refugees and about 174,000 Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, and many are protesting in Beirut’s Riad El Solh Square, Al Monitor news website reported.
On Oct. 21, Prime Minister Saad Hariri responded to the protests with a list of economic reforms, which for the most part seem largely non-achievable, wrote Al Monitor. This was met with clear rejection on part of the protesters on the ground, who have called for a general strike in response. The demands of the protesters—even when they do not agree—stand unanimous on one front: that all demands are met. Trust has been damaged and people are hungry for change, say the protesters, who brush aside questions about Hariri’s speech and promises with dismissive answers. There are calls for a completely new regime, in the hope it would bring change and improve the standard of living.