FM Gebran Bassil says protests can either be Lebanon’s collapse or its savior

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Lebanon’s Foreign Minister and the President of the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), said on Friday that the mass protests in Lebanon could be either the collapse or the savior of the country.

“Two clear options of what the mass protests in Lebanon can be, either a major collapse or a savior,” said Bassil.

Speaking about leading reforms, Bassil said: “The Prime Minister is ready, and Sayyid Hassan [Nasrallah] is with us … It’s enough for us to show people that we’re serious about change, the corruption laws for example.”

Bassil, who is the son-in-law of President Michel Aoun, made the comments during the second day of protests in Lebanon’s capital Beirut.

“I feel your pain and I understand why our supporters joined protests, but beware of others’ political agenda. If you follow them chaos awaits,” Bassil added, as mass protests filled Down Town Beirut with chants such as “the people demand the regime’s fall.”

Addressing the chants, Bassil said any alternative to the current government would be far worse.

The protests were initially sparked by a cabinet session on Thursday, when Lebanese ministers approved an unpopular per day fee for using internet-based phone calls over services like WhatsApp. Anger has been building for weeks over an alleged shortage of US dollars within Lebanon’s highly dollarized economy.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Saad Hariri cancelled a scheduled cabinet meeting and said he would speak to address the protests.

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