Bank cards have been banned in restaurants across Portugal. It is cash only as part of a nationwide day-long protest at charges.
An increase in Value Added Tax to 23 percent and a bank charge of around two percent on every card transaction – double that of neighbouring Spain – has prompted the action by a group representing the restaurants.
“This is not a day of protest against consumers, it is something that catering companies and others need to do because the taxes are too high. It is harming competition and we hear so much about competition,” explained one diner.
The protest’s co-ordinator, José Pereira wrote an open letter to Portugal’s prime minister informing him of the action as a way he believed of putting pressure on the government.
He reckons up to 15,000 restaurants will be forced to shut down this year adding around 40,000 to the job queues. His newly formed pressure group plans further action.