Friday, October 25, 2013

Thousands of workers protest Portugal austerity

Thousands of Portuguese workers protested in the country’s two largest cities on October 19 against the government’s proposed 2014 budget. The conservative ruling party aims to slash the budget deficit to 4 percent of GDP next year from 5.9 percent in 2013

Workers at the protests in Lisbon and Porto angrily opposed the government’s plans to impose further spending cuts, reductions in state pensions and the slashing of public-sector workers’ wages. Workers face cuts in wages of between 2.5 percent to 12 percent on monthly salaries of over 600 euros. Pensions are expected to be slashed by a total of 728 million euros.
The Lisbon protest was organised by the General Confederation of Portuguese Workers. In Porto, thousands of workers demonstrated in the city’s main square.
Many demanded the resignation of the government. Al-Jazeera reported the comments of an unemployed teacher, Sofia, who said, “I’m here to fight for more work and better wages and against this government’s austerity measures, so I want them to leave together with the Troika [European Commission, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank]”.
Ricardo Pereira who travelled to Lisbon to protest from Torres Novas said, “I’m here to fight for a better future for me and for the next generation and against this government’s austerity measures.”
The ruling party lost 12 percent of its vote in recent local elections


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