Portugal,Lisbon,Austerity,Triokia,Protest,Government Corruption,revolution news

Portugal Lived Today. A Million and a Half People In the Streets Against Austerity.

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Portugal lived today a day of demonstrations against government austerity measures, bringing together tens of thousands of people in major cities of the country under the slogan “troika be damned.” (Click to enlarge images)

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In Lisbon, the march ran through the center of town to the Plaza of Spain, with shouts and banners against the conservative government of Pedro Passos Coelho and harsh adjustment measures in his fifteen months in office to meet the requirements of the rescue Portuguese finance.

Amidst the noise of firecrackers and horns, marching peacefully walked from the capital, Porto (North) and twenty other cities long lusas to express the rejection of the austerity demanded by the troika (European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund), which remains under close surveillance the country’s finances.

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These three agencies, which awarded 78,000 million euros Lisbon in May 2011 and prevented the bankruptcy of the country, were now targets of popular protest, by the Executive Passos Coelho.

The authorities did not provide lusas, as usual, figures on the demonstrations, but local media and organizers agreed that today was one of the greatest days of street response registered in the country in recent years.

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The protests were called mostly through social networks and civic movement groups “outraged” lusos, but also joined the leftist parties and big unions.

Popular anger against Prime Minister was felt strongly in the protests, in which they demanded his resignation and a drastic change of policy to halt unemployment and deteriorating public services.

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The streets of Portugal’s capital Lisbon were the venue for the largest of a series of anti-austerity demonstrations staged in 24 of the country’s cities.

Thousands of protesters rallied with placards showing their anger at measures implemented as a condition of the country’s 78 billion euro bailout.

The demonstration was organised by Portugal’s largest trade union federation which announced plans for more protests through until the end of March.

“We have no government, we are being robbed so I’m here to demonstrate my discontent because it’s enough; this can’t go on,” commented a teacher.

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Manuel Mendes, a pensioner who was protesting said: “What’s at stake here is not only the situation we are in but also democracy, so I’m here to fight against this government and this policy”.

Many of the marchers blamed the government’s policies for the country’s unemployment rate which has risen to a record 16.9 percent.

Portugal’s economy declined last year by 3.2% more than was predicted.

The troika – the ECB, IMF and EU – is expected to look again at Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho’s economic reforms at the end of this month.

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Military participating in the demonstration anti-troika. Portugal

The National Association of Sergeants (ANS), the Association of Officers of the Armed Forces (AOFA) and the Association of Squares (AP) are giving directions to their members to participate in the demonstration this Saturday, initially convened by the motion What is Sand Troika.

The president of ANS, Lima Coelho, told PUBLIC “not as ANS, but as citizens” are to inform their comrades who will be there, so appealing to all sergeants participating in the demonstration. “We are members of society and encourage the participation [of the military]alongside their families,” added Lima Coelho.

The AOFA is making the same appeal to its members, as found with the PUBLIC president of this body, Pereira Cracel. This association supports the participation of the military “as a citizen” because he says they should participate as they see fit “be relevant”.

The president of AP, Luís Reis said the PUBLIC that the organization is providing “indications that [the military]to participate in the demonstration as members of society.” A press release sent to the AP PUBLIC “calls on all squares by making use of their right of citizenship, participate in events organized by civil society” to show that the military is “sympathetic to their legitimate aspirations for a better life.”

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The document further states that the measures taken by a government “that, in an act of genuflection towards the troika, kissed the hand delivery of national sovereignty” can not be measured “that the military willingly accept.”

 

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Jennifer Baker is the founder and editor of Revolution News - Contact us with inquiries, tips, corrections at - revnewsmedia@gmail.com