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Public sector paralysed as Lebanon lurches towards ‘failed state’

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By Timour Azhari and Maya Gebeily BEIRUT (Reuters) – It’s a weekday, but 50-year-old Lebanese finance ministry employee Walid Chaar is not at work and hasn’t been since June. He rushes to water the garden at his home in the hills south of Beirut, using the single hour of rationed state power to run the sprinkler. He then phones his mother, who is struggling to get a new passport at a state agency grappling with paper and ink shortages. “The public sector is at its end if we keep going like this,” Chaar told Reuters. Like thousands of state employees in Lebanon, Chaar has been on strike for two…

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