On day 43, protests target VAT building, Association of Bankers, and BDL.
- Protesters organized a sit-in in front of the Finance Ministry’s VAT building in Adlieh Thursday morning, blocking the entrance. Riot police later dispersed the protesters to allow employees inside the building.
- Hundreds of protesters marched from the Association of Bankers’ headquarters in Gemmayze to the Central Bank in Hamra on Thursday evening, chanting “the people want the downfall of the public debt.” Protesters succeeded in breaking down the fence protecting the Central Bank but did not storm the building.
Syndicate of Money Changers announce strike
- Money changers will strike on Friday, according to a statement released by the Syndicate on Thursday. The Syndicate denounced the depreciation of the Lebanese Pound and appealed to political and financial authorities to find solutions as quickly as possible.
- The Syndicate also expressed its dismay at the “impractical and unbelievable lies” that seek to blame money changers for the deteriorating financial situation.
Lebanon settles $1.5 bln Eurobonds
- The Central Bank paid its maturing $1.5 billion Eurobond Thursday, quashing fears of a default despite the country’s fragile political and economic situation.
- The eight-year Eurobond has a coupon rate of 5.45 percent.
- Lebanon now faces the challenge of financing its outstanding Eurobonds in 2020.
Finance and Budget Committee convenes on 2020 draft budget
- The Parliament ‘s Finance and Budget Committee approved 23 out of the 2020 budget’s 32 articles Thursday. The committee also approved a series of reforms, including cutting officials’ salaries and reducing electricity subsidies.
- The Finance and Budget Committee and the Administration and Justice Committee had convened Wednesday to discuss graft-related laws. They discussed bills related to banking secrecy and the return of the looted public funds.
- A financial meeting will be held in Baabda Palace Friday to discuss the current situation. The meeting will include the Central Bank Governor, the Head of the Association of Banks, and the Caretaker Ministers of Finance and Economy among others.
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