Portugal: army and police protest against austerity

Demonstration in Lisbon against government measures

14 February, 10:57

    (ANSAmed) - MADRID, FEBRUARY 14 - Portugal's police forces will stage a demonstration on March 5 in Lisbon against the austerity policies of Pedro Passos Coelho's government and to ask that measures adopted under the 2014 Budget be scrapped.

    For the same reason, 200 military personnel with the three main associations on Thursday demonstrated peacefully, complaining about constant cuts to the army's budget which they say ''debase the role of the military''.

    The army has been particularly targeted by cuts and registered the highest level of early retirements among public employees - 8.2% - with 21,000 early retirees. Among unpopular budget measures approved solely with the votes of the conservative majority coalition are salary cuts for public workers and an increase of five work hours a week; the retirement age was also raised to 66 and spouse's pensions were blocked if a couple's pensions exceeded together 2,000 euros a month.

    The budget is worth 3.9 billion (2.3% of GDP) to respect parameters imposed by the Troika (EU, ECB and IMF) when it granted 78 billion in 2011, with a 4% deficit forecast for 2014.


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