On late Sunday 12 May, about 100 retired Lebanese soldiers started picketing the Central Bank building, aiming to stop workers from entering on Monday morning. The protests come as concerns over pensions or benefits cuts while the coalition government debates a draft budget. Central Bank workers went on strike early last week over cuts in the wage bill and workers at other state institutions, including the national power producer, telecom firm Ogero and the port of Beirut held strikes for several days last week. Lebanon has public debt equivalent to 150% of GDP. The draft budget aims to reduce the deficit to below 9% of GDP from 11.2% in 2018.
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