Tens of thousands of demonstrators have been marching through the streets of the Lebanese capital Beirut protesting against the government’s economic policies.
It comes a year after mass protests brought down a pro-Syrian government there and helped end Syria’s 29-year military presence in Lebanon. While demonstrators were protesting against tentative government plans to introduce shorter-term contracts for public sector workers, commentators say the march has become a test of strength between pro and anti-Syrian factions.
Lebanon’s public debt is currently some 28 billion euros and the government reform package was aimed at clawing back some of that debt at the same time as wooing international lenders. An aid conference to deal with the debt has been put off after squabbling between political factions over the reforms.