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Lebanon’s Civil Movement Protests in Front of Central Bank to Reject Taxes | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri meets a delegation of women participating in a Pedal for Peace campaign. (Dalati & Nohra)

Beirut – The civil movement in Lebanon organized on Saturday a surprise sit-in in front of the Central Bank in Beirut, warning the government against “imposing taxes on the poor.”

The sit-in led to the closure of all the entrances of the Central Bank, amid tight security measures.

Speaking on behalf of the protestors, lawyer Wassef al-Harakeh said that the movement “chose to gather in front of the Central Bank, because the bank belongs to the state, the nation and the citizen.”

“It should assume the responsibility of managing Lebanon’s monetary policy to help the national economy grow,” he stated.

Harakeh accused the Central Bank governor of protecting the interests of banks and financial companies at the expense of citizens’ interests, adding that he encouraged banks and “helped them make fictitious profits, conspiring with them to evade the payment of real and serious taxes.”

On a different note, Prime Minister Saad Hariri met on Saturday with women participating in a Pedal for Peace campaign, the premier’s office said in a statement.

“Lebanon is a country of coexistence, culture, history and beauty, but it may sometimes witness stages of chaos, suffering and hardship,” he said according to the statement.

“When you are in Lebanon, you can see the beautiful cities and despite having 18 different sects, we all live together as if we were one person, but sometimes politics divide us,” he stated,

“When you go back to your country, you have to tell your friends how beautiful this country is. I hope you will return to Lebanon with your families and friends,” he added.

Activist Deta Reagan, who helped organize the venture, praised the beauty of Lebanon.

“We have seen the beauty and diversity of Lebanon, and we all want to come back to visit it,” she said.

“Our countries have experienced the terrorist attacks in the past few months, but we felt safe and happy in Lebanon.”