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Over one million people are out again in a rally against tough economic measures. The Portuguese took to the streets on Saturday March 2nd 2013 to say enough is enough and to demand the government to put an end to its austerity policies.
The troika (the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank) had sent a delegation to Portugal to evaluate the government’s reforms. But, they were not welcomed by the demonstrators.
The government started imposing cuts to reduce the deficit two years ago, following a seventy eight billion euros bailout granted by the international troika, but now Lisbon would like to see budget deficit goals eased as austerity undermines economic growth and unemployment rises to a record level of over 17 percent. And things could get worse this year. The executive will launch huge tax hikes and plans to cut four billion euros in spending.
Many say that an alternative needs to be found, but that growth can only be achieved together with Portugal’s neighbours.
Gatherings took place in more than 40 cities across Portugal. Many say the Portuguese evoked their revolutionary spirit of 1974 this Saturday, remembering the coup that put an end to over forty years of dictatorship.