An estimated five thousand veterans and servicemen marched through the streets of Lisbon, to show their anger at planned austerity measures.
Portugal is already feeling the strain and the budget for next year approved by the centre-right government will bring even more cuts and tax rises in an effort to save 5.3 billion euros.
“The 2013 budget proposes we make higher payments for medical care, although the service is worse. We pay more for less,” said Sergeant Jose Leitao.
Retired navy officer Armenio Teodoro added: “All the soldiers – not just me – have the right to receive our pension with dignity, because they discounted the money from our salaries. Now I ask, where’s our money? Where’s the money we paid for so many years?”
Portugal has already received a 78-billion-euro bailout.
Lisbon’s efforts to reduce the deficit have been praised by German Chancellor Angela Merkel – who is due to visit on Monday.