Lebanese Cabinet agrees on 2019 austerity budget

BEIRUT (AP) — A Lebanese Cabinet minister says the government has agreed on a 2019 budget, wrapping up weeks of haggling over an austerity budget that aims to cut public spending and reduce the deficit.

Information Minister Jamal Jarrah said the proposals put forward in the draft budget reduce the projected percentage of the deficit compared with the gross domestic product from 11% last year to around 7.5%.

Jarrah says the ministers agreed to all articles in the draft budget in Friday’s session — the 19th time the Cabinet has convened to discuss the budget. The corruption-plagued country is one of the most indebted in the world and there are serious concerns about an economic crash.

The draft budget is now expected to be endorsed at a session at the presidential palace before being sent to parliament.

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