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Thousands protest in Portugal against austerity budget for 2014

Thousands protest in Portugal against austerity budget for 2014
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It is a day of “national outrage, protest and struggle” in Portugal. That’s how the country’s biggest union referred to the rallies and demos which have been organised across the country in response to the 2014 budget which was passed on Tuesday.

Union members have occupied four ministries in Lisbon. Their aim is to persuade MPs to discuss the budget with them. One official said they will not leave until meetings are agreed.

The spending plan as demanded by Portugal’s international creditors will bring a third straight year of austerity and aims to save around 3.9 billion euros. For a many of the protesters it is a case of austerity fatigue.

“We have to show the government our discontent, we have to do something. If we can’t do anything else as least we can come out onto the streets to say we’ve had enough,” said Maria Margardia.

Outside parliament were demands for the government to resign whilst there have been calls for a week long strike in the middle of December.

The bill is set to be reviewed by Portugal’s Constitutional Court. It has rejected a number of government austerity measures in the past year.