Military Veterans Suspend Central Bank Sit-in Pending Government Session

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Military Veterans Suspend Central Bank Sit-in Pending Government Session

Retired military officers on Monday suspended their sit-in outside the Central Bank  branches across the country after they had blocked the headquarter's entrances to pressure the government to retract all items related to cutting their pensions and end-of-service benefits from its 2019 draft austerity budget.

The veterans decided to suspend their protest action as a goodwill sign towards Defense Minister Elias Bou Saab who is mediating between between with the retired officers and the government.

The veterans warned that they will take to the streets again if the government fails to meet their demands, the National News Agency reported.

Dozens of protesters set up tents outside the Central Bank in Beirut on Sunday night as the government convened to resume discussions on the draft budget.

Other sit-ins also took place in Beirut, Baalbeck, Jounieh, Tripoli and Tyre, as reported by the National News Agency.

The Dahr Al-Baydar road, linking Beirut to the Bekaa, was also cut off by the protesters.

The National Veterans Organization had issued a statement on Sunday saying that the retired officers will start their protest action as of 6 AM today, warning that they will cut off roads and block public facilities nationwide.

“This is to warn the government against altering the pensions and social benefits provided by the law,” the statement said.

"This big protest movement will be the start of a series of actions that will paralize work across the country."