Commuters across Portugal are facing disruption as metro and rail workers stage walkouts due to salary reductions and cutbacks. Protests and strikes have risen in recent weeks in the country against austerity measures being introduced by the government including tax hikes. This has prompted unions to call a general strike for November 14th.
One Lisbon resident affected by the transport stoppage said that “it is harmful to the people of the country because they lose money.” But he added that “it might force the government to be more sensitive to the needs of the population and find a better solution to the crisis.”
Portugal is experiencing its worst recession since the 1970s and there are fears that it could deepen if the tax increases further undermine consumer confidence and don’t halt a drop in government tax revenue.
The country’s main union, CGPT, who organised a mass demonstration on September 29th dubbed the most recent measures “an authentic programme of aggression against workers”.