Lisbon subway shuts in anti-austerity protest

LISBON, Portugal – Lisbon subway workers have walked off the job for the fifth time this year as labour groups continue their fight against austerity measures and economic reforms enacted in return for Portugal’s 2011 bailout.

The 24-hour strike Thursday coincided with the start of a parliamentary debate on the government’s 2014 state budget proposal, which aims to slash another 3.9 billion euros ($5.3 billion) — about 2.3 per cent of gross domestic product — off state spending in the latest batch of cuts.

The government has enough votes in Parliament to approve the budget, despite resistance from opposition parties and trade unions.

Next week, walkouts are expected to bring stoppages to national train services and Lisbon buses and ferries. Government workers are staging a national strike Nov. 8.


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