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Rush hour chaos in Lisbon

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Rush hour chaos in Lisbon

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The metro in the Portuguese capital ground to a halt for several hours on Thursday morning as workers staged an anti-austerity strike.

The protest is due to the privatisation of the city’s transport system along with salary cuts that the Portuguese government is introducing in exchange for crucial international bailout funds.

There has been fierce criticism of the changes in the country. Lisbon Metro union representative, Jose Silva Marques said that “if the government sells the service to private companies it will get worse and, a couple of years from now, the private companies will return it to the government again.”

An estimated 250,000 people were affected by the action. Commuter Daniela Silva expressed her support for the strike but was “upset that it has affected so many people trying to get to work”.

The cutbacks being made in the debt-laden country have met fierce opposition and resemble similar strikes and protests in Greece and Spain.