Thousands of Portuguese lined up in front of Congress in Lisbon to protest next year’s national budget, which lawmakers were expected to vote on later Friday.
The demonstration, which was called by the country’s main union CGTP, was held to demand that lawmakers vote against the 2014 budget which contains a host of fresh public spending cuts. Holding placards reading “liars” and “bandits,” demonstrators shouted obscenities at deputies who were taking part in the second day of debates on the budget. The budget is expected to be passed without much opposition on the first round. The final vote is expected at the end of the month.
Arménio Carlos, leader of the CGTP, announced that another protest will be held the day of the final vote. Portugal is undergoing a painful austerity drive as part of its bailout commitments to Brussels, the IMF and the European Central Bank. All Saints Day is no longer a national holiday in Portugal after the government decided to eliminate it as a cost-cutting measure.