Thousands of demonstrators have been protesting across Portugal against salary cuts and public sector reforms imposed by the government under the country’s international bailout deal. Rallies were held in more than a dozen cities.
In the capital Lisbon, crowds marched towards parliament chanting slogans such as “the street is ours!” and “stop the robbery!”
Pensioner Abel Pontes, pensioner said of the government: “They already announced that next January they’ll cut my pension by 10 percent. They increased my rent. Obviously, we need to protest!”
Manuela Raia spoke out for disabled people’s rights, saying: “I feel angry about this government’s social policy. I am here because of the cuts to pensions. I am here because of the miserable benefits that disabled people receive.”
“Get lost Troika!” some protesters shouted – in reference to the EU, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The three institutions bankrolled Portugal’s rescue package in 2011. But in return, they demanded that the country reduce its deficit, leading to the unpopular budget cuts