Sat, September 22, 2012

Portuguese stage fresh protest against gov't's austerity measures

2012-09-22 08:17:20 GMT2012-09-22 16:17:20(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Protesters hold banners during a demonstration against austerity measures adopted by the Portuguese government in Lisbon, Portugal, on Sept. 21, 2012. (Xinhua/Zhang Yadong)

LISBON, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of Portuguese staged a protest in front of the Presidential Palace Friday night against government's news austerity measures which aimed at reaching the budget deficit targets set by the international lenders for the rescue of the country's debt crisis.

The protesters raised and chanted slogans while dozons of the armed police were on high alert. The protest was largely peaceful and no confrontation took place between the police and the protesters.

The fresh protest came less than a week after tens of thousands of Portuguese protesters took to the street in downtown of capital Lisbon in a similar protest against the government's new austerity measures.

Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho announced on Sept. 7 new austerity measures to meet its deficit reduction targets for international bailout.

Passos Coelho said social security contribution from both public and private sector employees will increase from the current 11 percent to 18 percent and company will contribute less than employees to improve unemployment.

Portugal agreed last year to a 78-billion-euro bailout plan set by the European Union, the European Central Bank and the IMF and the country must reduce its budget deficit to 5 percent instead of the previous 4.5 percent of its gross domestic product this year. The country is struggling painfully to meet the target.


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