Celebrations to mark Portugal’s Republic Day took on an extra symbolic relevance when President Cavaco Silva unknowingly raised the country’s flag upside down.
The internationally recognised signal of distress came on the last time October 5 will be deemed a public holiday having been abolished in an austerity measure.
The day was full of protests; one woman interrupted the last few minutes of the president’s speech to complain of the hardships under which she and millions of Portuguese are living, while another joined her and sang an emotionally charged revolutionary song.
With Portugal having just adopted sweeping tax hikes in the struggle to implement budget goals under its international bailout requirement, public discontent with the government is likely to continue.
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