More violent protests as Lebanon's cabinet splits over rubbish crisis

More violent protests as Lebanon's cabinet splits over rubbish crisis
By Euronews with Reuters
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Rubbish and violence of the streets of Beirut as calls grow for the country's hamstrung cabinet to quit


There have been more clashes with police in central Beirut after Lebanon’s cabinet failed to reach an agreement on how to tackle the country’s rubbish crisis.

What started as anger over waste collections has escalated into criticism of the government’s inability to deliver basic services .Protesters blame internal corruption.

Clashes last weekend left more than 40 protesters injured along with 30 police officers. Rocks were thrown and security forcers responded with tear gas and water cannon.

Political rivalries

On Tuesday six cabinet ministers walked out after new waste management contracts were rejected for being too expensive.

The ministers were allied to the Islamist organisation Hezbollah, which has backed the demonstrations.

The national unity government led by Prime Minister Tammam Salam has mostly been hamstrung since it came to office last year, paralyzed by rivalries among politicians that have been exacerbated by crises in the wider Middle East region.

Wall of shame

Rubbish has been piling up on the streets of Beirut and neighbouring areas since Lebanon’s largest landfill shut down last month with no alternative .

On Monday a blast wall aimed at protecting government buildings was erected after the protests turned violent. Quickly nicknamed the “Wall of Shame” it’s now being removed.

Organisers of the campaign “You Stink” have widened their demands calling for the cabinet to resign.

#Lebanon: No President, Useless Parliament, 1 Million refugee, > 6K fighters in Syria, & soon maybe No Government:

— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) August 23, 2015

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