Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Wednesday chaired a meeting including several ministers to "alleviate tensions" ahead of what is supposed to be the last Cabinet session aimed at discussing the 2019 draft budget.
“I am not sure why we have been called for a ministerial meeting after 17 government sessions to discuss the draft budget,” Public Works Minister Youssef Fenianos told reporters before going into the session.
"The budget has been finalized, and I don't know why this meeting is being held,” Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil also said ahead of the meeting.
Industry Minister Wael Abu Faour described the meeting as a "facilitative" one to ensure the endorsement of the draft budget, assuring that the public servants' salaries will not be cut to reduce the budget deficit to 7%.
The meeting, held at the Grand Serail, was attended by Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil, Industry Minister Wael Abu Faour, Labor Minister Kamil Abu Sleiman, Public Works Minister Youssef Fenianos and Youth and Sports Minister Mohammad Fneish.