Thousands marched in Lisbon Saturday against the austerity measures of the right wing prime minister Pedro Passos Coelho.
The protest, organised by the CGTP trade union confederation, follows marches and rallies in the country’s second largest city, Oporto, last weekend.
Calling for a mobilisation ‘against exploitation and impoverishment’ , the CGTP was also demonstrating its opposition to the casualisation of the workforce imposed through changes to labour laws in May. This made it easier to hire and fire workers, cut holidays and removed protections on working hours.
The ‘reforms’ were passed as part of a package imposed by the IMF-EU-ECB Troika in return for the €78 billion in international loans provided in May 2011
The austerity demanded by international creditors and their agents in the Troika are set to produce a 3% contraction in the economy this year, after the gross domestic product dropped by 1.6% in 2011, and there is already record 15.5% unemployment.
On Friday, the Portuguese Communist Party announced it would be tabling a motion of no confidence in the Government. The government won’t fall, however, as it has an ample majority. AFP