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Portugal's latest cuts debated

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Portugal's latest cuts debated

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Portugal’s parliament has been getting its first official look at the 2012 draft budget as the finance minister Vitor Gashpar revealed further details of the latest austerity package at a news conference.

With a series of big spending cuts, the centre-right government of Pedro Passos Coelho is trying to avoid Portugal becoming the next Greece.

The parliament will debate the measures before voting on them at the end of the month. Lawmakers are expected to approve the budget.

The budget includes pay cuts for civil servants, no more year-end bonuses and longer working hours.

The two main Portuguese trade union confederations, CGTP and UGT, plan a general strike against the austerity measures on Wednesday.

The last general strike in Portugal was in November 2010.

Around 40,000 people demonstrated on Saturday night in Lisbon and Porto as part of worldwide protest against the excesses of the financial system.