What Happened: Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri announced on Twitter on Oct. 18 that he has given the country's governing parties 72 hours to accept a reform package amid ongoing anti-austerity protests.
Why It Matters: If the Lebanese government cannot agree on a reform package, it increases the potential for increased political turmoil and paralysis, undermining confidence in the country's political stability and deepening its economic crisis.
Background: Lebanon's economy is suffering from years of mismanagement, a massive public debt burden and U.S. sanctions pressure. However, Beirut has been unable to present a viable austerity plan to unlock foreign aid and stabilize the country's fiscal situation.
- In Lebanon, All Roads Lead to Austerity (Oct. 7, 2019)
- Lebanon's Profligate Factions Gamble on a Foreign Rescue (June 5, 2019)
- Increasing U.S. Sanctions Pressure Raises the Risks of Iranian Retaliation (May 16, 2019)