Lebanon bank staff union to discuss ending strike after receiving security plan

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Lebanon’s bank staff union will meet on Sunday or Monday to decide whether to call off a strike, after receiving a plan to secure banks with a stepped up police presence, the president of the Federation of Syndicates of Bank Employees said on Saturday.

The union began the strike on Tuesday over safety fears, as protests against political leaders sweep Lebanon and depositors demand access to their money after banks imposed new curbs.

George al-Haj said banks could re-open as early as Monday if the union agrees that the plan is satisfactory.

Haj expressed support for the plan but said there was not yet a final decision.

It calls for police officers to guard select branches and provides a hotline for banks to call in immediate security assistance if needed.

On Friday, S&P Global Ratings said that it lowered Lebanon’s long-term and short-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings to ‘CCC/C’ from ‘B-/B’, citing rising financial and monetary risks.

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