Retired Lebanese soldiers blockaded the central bank in Beirut on Monday to warn the government against curbing their benefits in an escalation of demonstrations and strikes against plans to cut state spending.
A central bank official said the central bank was operating as normal despite the protest outside its headquarters. The demonstrators also blocked the main road outside the building on Hamra street with metal barricades, choking rush hour traffic.
With Lebanon suffering from years of low economic growth, long-stalled reforms are seen as more pressing than ever to put the state finances on a sustainable path.
The government is seeking to finalise a budget which Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri says may be the most austere in Lebanon's history. The veterans fear their pensions could be cut.
The military and central bank have been seen as two pillars of Lebanon's stability since the end of its 1975-90 civil war.