Around 300 civil servants gathered outside the Portuguese prime minister’s office on Tuesday to demonstrate against the government’s austerity policies.
Tension mounted and two trade unionists were briefly detained as tempers flared when people attempted to leave a designated protest area. Police formed a cordon, but the protesters broke through and scuffled with police. Civil servants have taken a five percent pay cut as Portugal grapples with its mounting debt.
On Sunday the country votes in a presidential election, and in the latest opinion poll 60 percent of people think life is worse today than before they joined the EU. 46 percent think they were better off 40 years ago under the Salazar dictatorship.