Public transport, refuse collection and health services have all been hit hard by industrial action in Portugal today. Unions, including the country’s largest, the CGTP, are staging the walkout over government reforms aimed at making the economy more competitive.
Questioned yesterday, the country’s centre right President, Anibal Cavaco Silva, would only say that going on strike was a constitutional right. The CGTP’s last major strike dates back to 2002. The main political target of today’s action is Socialist Prime Minister Jose Socrates. His adminstration has pushed through several reforms that have raised economic growth but also unemployment. The government maintains it won’t budge from its programme.