Lebanon News

Gharib: Be prepared for more protests

Hanna Gharib, the head of Secondary Teachers Associations, leaves the Parliament in Beirut, Friday, April 4, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)

BEIRUT: Hanna Gharib, the head of the Union Coordination Committee, called for more protests this week if Parliament remains unable to endorse the public sector’s salary increase.

“Be ready to take to the streets again [this] week if the salary scale is not endorsed without [paying in] installments and without adding taxes on the poor people,” Gharib said Sunday during a celebration for the Communist Party in the Bekaa Valley.

Gharib called on all unions to unite against “the whales of money” and said the people must be confident that they are able to make a change.

Lebanon has witnessed several protests calling for a 121 percent wage hike for civil servants and public teachers. Parliament has been reluctant to endorse the bill, arguing that it needs time to find resources to fund the scale estimated to cost more than $1.4 billion.

Last month, a parliamentary committee was tasked with restudying the salary scale draft law and amending it.

Minister of State Nabil de Freij, a member of the committee, told Voice of Lebanon radio earlier during the day that the discussion on raising the value added tax was left for MPs over differences among the committee's members.

“The issue still needs time to be resolved,” he said.





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