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Saturday, 2 March 2013

Eurozone crisis: Portugal protests against austerity

Go Portugal ! Screw the Troika! 

Hundreds of thousands of people are protesting in cities across Portugal against government austerity measures.

Huge crowds gathered in the capital Lisbon to demand the government resign.
Many carried placards condemning the "Troika" of the IMF, the European Commission and the European Central Bank, which demanded budget cuts in return for a financial bailout.

The conservative government has introduced steep tax rises as it tries to reduce a huge budget deficit.
Unemployment is at a record 17.6% and the economy is expected to contract by 2% this year - the third straight year of recession.
The demonstrations organised on social media also have the backing of Portugal's main trade union federation.

'Austerity kills'
They coincide with a visit by inspectors from the EU and the IMF, which demanded austerity measures as a condition for a 78bn-euro (£64bn) bailout in 2011.
Protesters carried banners with slogans such as "Austerity Kills" and "Screw the Troika".
They also chanted a popular song "Grandola" associated with the 1974 "Carnation Revolution" that brought an end to dictatorship.

They are demanding a complete change of course from the government, but it says further spending cuts are necessary to revive the economy.
This year's budget was Portugal's toughest in living memory, imposing tax rises that for many workers amount to a month's wages.

From BBC News

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