Portugal: Workers tell government to put people before profit

morningstaronline.co.uk
Sunday 02 October 2011

Hundreds of thousands of working people rallied in Lisbon and Porto on Saturday to demand that the government put social justice before bankers’ profits.

The General Confederation of Portuguese Workers organised the protests “against impoverishment and injustice, against the aggression by the International Monetary Fund.”

Trade unionists and their allies took to the streets in force on the same day that a tax on electricity and gas bills rose from 6 to 23 per cent.

Speaking in Lisbon, CGTP secretary-general Manuel Carvalho da Silva said: “When they attack our rights, when poverty and injustice are growing, then our struggle has to be generalised, it has to be everyone’s struggle.”

The government insists it has no choice but to hack back workers’ rights and sell off state property to fulfil the conditions of a €78 billion (£67bn) loan it negotiated with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund in May.