Lebanese protesters dig in, even after proposed reforms

BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanese protesters have set up barricades in the streets around their central rallying point in Beirut.

They’re digging in Tuesday for a sixth day of nationwide anti-government demonstrations, dismissing proposed economic reforms and insisting the government step down.

Walid Joumblatt, a powerful politician who has representatives in the government, criticized the reforms as “weak drugs” that aim to buy time.

Prime Minister Saad Hariri offered a reform package Monday night, but street demonstrations in cities nationwide continued to grow. They’re now the largest protests Lebanon has seen in 15 years, and have united people across sectarian lines in their shared scorn for the government.

Lebanon faces a severe economic crisis. Hariri’s proposed reforms include cutting top officials’ salaries in half, overhauling the electricity sector and downsizing government institutions.

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