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Portugal gripped by recession

Portuguese transport workers protest austerity measures

Jacq(Photo: Flickr/Images_of_Money)


Transport workers across Portugal went out on strike today to protest against the latest round of austerity measures. Commuters across the country faced lengthy delays and disruptions as rail, bus and metro workers walked out to protest against wage and spending cuts.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho’s coalition government announced steep income tax increases in order to meet the budget conditions attached to last year’s 78 billion euro bailout.

Portuguese unions have vowed to ratchet up their campaign against Lisbon’s latest round of austerity measures, which include steep tax increases as well as pay and welfare cuts. Unions have called for a general strike on 14 November.

The country is experiencing its’ worst financial crisis since the 1970’s; Portugal has been in recession for the past four years and the centre-right government says the economic malaise will continue into 2013 and unemployment will reach 16.4 percent.

The 2007 global financial crisis plunged the EU into a major recession and five eurozone countries - Greece, Ireland, Spain, Italy and Portugal - have received massive bailouts.


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