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Portugal protests against tough tax hikes


Portugal

Portugal protests against tough tax hikes

Hundreds of protesters stayed out in front of the Portugese parliament building late into Monday night after the government announced sweeping tax rises.

They are rallying against the government and its latest budget, which includes pension cuts, higher property taxes and a levy on financial transactions.

But Finance Minister Vitor Gaspar says the country has no choice but to stay on the austerity path.

“In 2013 the budget deficit will stand at 7.5 billion euros, this corresponds to around 4.5 percent of GDP”, he said.

However, some economists argue that the latest tax hikes could destroy any prospect for Portugese growth.

The country is facing a a third year of recession, with unemployment at nearly sixteen percent and the government struggling to comply with the terms of a 78 billion euro international bailout.

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