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Calls for government to quit by Portugal protesters sick of austerity

03/03/13 02:36 CET

More than 200,000 people gathered outside the Finance Ministry in Lisbon on Saturday, with scores more in cities across Portugal taking part in protests against austerity.

Many also demanded the centre-right government resign, as people in Portugal face a fall in living standards and rise in unemployment at the same time as the biggest tax hikes in living memory.

Directing her anger at the prime minister, this protester said: “I just want to tell Passos Coelho that I have the right to scream and show everyone how revolted I am at his incompetence, mediocrity and dishonesty – at everything.”

“If the government pays attention to what is happening and understands that the people are against them, they should get out. If not, this wont stop,” added another man out on the streets of Lisbon.

The mass of demonstrations coincides with the visit of representatives from the European Central Bank, European Commission and the International Monetary Fund. The so-called troika are in Lisbon for the seventh evaluation of Portugal’s 78-billion euro bailout programme.

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