Anti-austerity protesters march in Lisbon

Comment on this story
iol bus feb 17 portugal REUTERS A woman with a fake pistol and a mask of the Russian band Pussy Riot protests in front of the Portuguese Parliament in Lisbon.

Lisbon - Thousands of protesters rallied in Portugal on Saturday against austerity measures imposed on the country by its international creditors.

Answering a call from the CGTP, Portugal's leading union, some 5,000 protesters marched in Lisbon and organisers said tens of thousands rallied in about 20 cities across the country.

“We want to break with the commitments made in return for the rescue plan, break with right-wing policies, demand the resignation of the government and new elections,” union chief Armenio Carlos said.

Crushed by a soaring public debt load, Portugal has implemented tough austerity measures in return for rescue loans from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

Under the weight of cutbacks in public spending, the unemployment rate rose sharply in the fourth quarter of last year to 16.9 percent while the economy contracted by 3.2 percent in 2012.

“We can feel the lack of money every day, the cost of transportation has gone up, along with school fees. This policy has no future, it is destroying the country's economy,” said protester Maria Manuel Reis, a 55-year-old civil servant. - Sapa-AFP

sign up

Comment Guidelines

  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.

  5. Verified email addresses: All users on Independent Media news sites are now required to have a verified email address before being allowed to comment on articles. You are only required to verify your email address once to have full access to commenting on articles. For more information please read our comment guidelines