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Street protests express 'people's pain': Lebanon's Aoun

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Lebanon's President Michel Aoun presides over a cabinet session at the Baabda palace in Beirut on October 21, 2019. (Photo by Reuters)

Lebanon's President Michel Aoun has expressed solidarity with the protesters who have flooded the streets of the country in recent days, saying their agitation shows "people's pain."

"What is happening in the streets expresses people's pain, but generalizing corruption (charges) against everyone carries big injustice," Aoun's office quoted him as saying during a cabinet session on Monday.

Aoun also said the government must at least begin by lifting banking secrecy from current and future ministers, the office of the Lebanese president added in a tweet.

Lebanon has been rocked by nationwide protests over the past four days against rising inflation and living costs as the government struggles to attract investment amid increasing economic hardships and a decreasing capital flow to the country. 

The protesters blame the faltering economy on widespread corruption and abuse of privileges among politicians.

In response to the protests, Prime Minister Saad Hariri has reportedly given the nod on a package of reforms in an attempt to tackle an economic crisis. The package urges a 50-percent reduction in the salaries of current and former officials.

The reforms were expected to be approved during the cabinet meeting on Monday.

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, secretary general of the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah, on Saturday said he was against calls for the resignation of the government, vowing not to allow anyone to “burn” Lebanon and cause chaos in the country.

Nasrallah also stated that the Hezbollah party was “determined to work hard” to solve the country’s problems and “not allow anyone to drown this country and take it to the abyss”.

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