Portugal anti-austerity protests, 15 September

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Mark.
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Sep 15 2012 10:27
Portugal anti-austerity protests, 15 September

Quote:

Demonstrations have been convened in 25 Portuguese cities following an online and broadly non-party political campaign.

An internet site with a name that loosely translates as “Damn the troika! We want our lives!”, first set up by Lisboners, ended up replicating online with demonstrations now convened for Saturday evening in central squares up and down the country.

The original signatories of the protest site declare the objective to be “the beginning of a popular peaceful rebellion” and an opportunity for everybody to say “enough!”.

Similar demonstrations have also been called outside Portuguese consulates and embassies in Fortaleza (Brazil), Berlin, Barcelona, Paris and London...

From here

According to a report on the Global Voices site:

Quote:

For now, more than a dozen protests  have been organised from the north to the south of the country for the 15th September with the slogan “Get lost Troika! We want our lives”, including continental Portugal's major cities: Lisbon, Porto, Coimbra and Braga and the city of Funchal, on the island of Madeira, (which displayed around 20,000 intended participants, in total, at the time of publication).

It was through the social networks that, in 2010, the Geração à Rasca protest which was the beginning of the fall of the government of José Sócrates gained momentum.

Que se lixe a troika - blog in Portuguese

Follow the day's protests on twitter on hash tags #15sPT and #queselixeatroika

Photos

Mark.
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Sep 15 2012 13:33

libcom thread on the Geração à Rasca protest back in March 2011

demo in London

Deolinda - 'Do outro lado do Atlântico, deixamos o nosso protesto'

Mark.
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Sep 15 2012 13:31
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Today we march. Today we take it to the streets.

Some of us will repeat our presence. But many, many, will be there for the first time.

For the most of us today won't be about leftwing versus rightwing.

For many of us this won't be against austerity. Or for socialism.

For many of us this won't be about jobs or benefits either.

For many this will be about our dignity.

Our right to try to live a dignified life. To have a job and make an honest living. To not be ashamed for being poor.

To tell our children there is hope ahead.

But also to fight against the systematic destruction of our country.

William Yeats said that being poor he only had his dreams to offer to his beloved.

Sometimes it feels like this people are stripping us of our dreams.

And so a kind of rage builds on the tips of our fingers. And a lump on our throats.

Yeats said it better: "Had they but courage equal to desire".

http://ja.twitter.com/rtorres

Mark.
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Sep 15 2012 13:31

Screw Troika! We want our lives!
15th September, 17h, Lisbon

We must do something extraordinary. We must take the streets and the squares, the open roads, the side roads, the countryside. This silence is killing us. The noise of the mainstream media echoes in the silence, replicating that silence, weaving webs of lies that numb us and kill our desire. We must do something against submission, defeat, against the stifling of ideas, against the death of our common will. We must summon once more the voices, the arms and the legs of us all, knowing our present and our future are decided on the streets. We must win over fear, this fear that has been skilfully set and spread around us, and understand, once and for all, that we have almost nothing left to lose, and that the day will soon come when we will have lost it all, because we kept to ourselves, we felt alone, we gave up.

The plunder (loan, rescue, ransom, bail out, whatever lie they chose to make us cave in) has begun, and, with it, countless ravishing policies, whereby unemployment, precariousness, poverty and social injustice will rise dramatically, most of the state's assets will be sold out, social welfare, education and health (with the national health system in its death throes) will be severed, cultural and public services will become obsolete – all in favour of people and companies that get rich with the speculation on a country's default. After one more year of austerity under external surveillance, our perspectives, the hopes of the greater part of Portugal's residents, are bleaker than ever.

The austerity imposed upon us to destroy our dignity and life does not solve our problems but only stifles democracy. Those who accept to govern us under the Troika's Memorandum are giving up on the fundamental tools for our country's management, giving them away to speculators and technocrats, on the basis of an economic model favouring the survival of the fittest and the strongest, just like in the jungle, neglecting our expectations as a community, our living conditions, our dignity.

Greece, Spain, Italy, Ireland and Portugal are hostages of Troika and its financial speculation. They have lost their sovereignty and get poorer every day, as is bound to happen to all countries submitted to austerity. Against the inevitability of this compulsion to linger and die, we must do something extraordinary.

We must build alternatives, step by step, springing from motivated populations, from the citizens of those countries – Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ireland - and of each and every one brought together, acting together, fighting for their lives and uniting their voices.

If they want to bend us, force us to accept unemployment, precariousness and injustice as a lifestyle, we shall answer with the power of democracy, of liberty, of motivation. The power to fight back. We want to take the decisions of the present in our hands, so that we can build a future.

This is, therefore, a call to all men and women from diverse areas of activity and political sympathies. We appeal to everyone - individuals, groups, movements, associations, non-governmental organizations, syndicates, political structures and parties - to march together on the street on the 15th September.

They've divided us to oppress us. We will unite to free ourselves!

Mark.
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Sep 15 2012 17:38

Quote:

Protest in Porto being called one of the biggest protests since the revolution. in Lisbon, estimates already past 50,000 people.

Around 6,000 protesters already assembled in Braga, ‪#Portugal‬'s 3rd largest city, and crowd still growing according to ‪@Publico‬

http://ja.twitter.com/Igualitarista

photos

Around 200 people in London demo

Mark.
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Sep 15 2012 18:37

Huffington Post: Latest cutbacks in Portugal bring explosive mood

Quote:

New Portuguese austerity measures announced in recent days may be the tipping point that transforms the nation's sullen acceptance of belt-tightening into an explosion of anger like that seen in Greece over the past two years. It threatens to wreck Portugal's plans for taming its debt woes and spawn another hotspot in Europe's financial crisis, just as the continent was feeling cautious optimism about saving the joint currency zone.

The five days that radically soured the Portuguese mood began last week when Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho announced an increase in workers' social security contributions to 18 percent of their monthly salary from 11 percent. The cut is equivalent to a net monthly wage.
Then it was the finance minister's turn to convey bad news.

Income taxes will go up next year, Vitor Gaspar said. Public employees will lose either their Christmas or vacation bonus, each roughly equivalent to a month's income, and many pensioners will lose both. More public employees will join the dole queue.

Last year was tough enough, especially for public employees, whose salaries were cut by up to 10 percent as they lost their two bonuses. Meanwhile, property and sales taxes went up, and tax deductions and welfare entitlements went down for everyone.

To top it off, the recession, which the government predicted would bottom out this year, will continue into next.

Suddenly, resignation over austerity has given way to fury.

Workers and business leaders, opposition parties and government stalwarts – all have joined in sending Passos Coelho the message that Portugal can no longer stand the pain.

In addition to Saturday's mass protests, the Portuguese are due to voice their anger in a series of strikes and other demonstrations over the next few weeks...

Praça de Espanha, Lisbon

Leiria

Mark.
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Sep 15 2012 19:04
Quote:

100s of 1000s protesting in ‪#Portugal‬ right now, hours after 100s of 1000s protested in ‪#Spain‬. Athens to Lisbon, people reject austerity

20k protesters in Coimbra according to authorities. that's 1 out of every 5 residents. biggest demo there since revolution.

TR ‪@pedrocs‬ what i saw today in Lisbon: many people that never had gone to a protest.

Spontaneous march in Lisbon on parliament, it seems: --> ‪@IndignadosLxboa‬ Todos a São Bento!!!!

http://ja.twitter.com/Igualitarista

Mark.
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Sep 15 2012 19:46
Quote:

100,000 people were at the anti austerity protest in ‪#Porto‬ according to organizers

Chants outside parliament of "get out, get out, get out of here, the hunger, the misery, & the IMF".

Tense scene outside parliament in Lisbon. barricades knocked over, bottles reportedly thrown: ‪pic.twitter.com/pEnR7UDg

In a spontaneous protest, couple thousand are protesting outside the Portuguese parliament: ‪pic.twitter.com/RQtdBzSh

In Lisbon, 1000s at the steps to parliament chanting for the Prime Minister to leave: ‪pic.twitter.com/fYks0II3‬‬

http://ja.twitter.com/Igualitarista

Mark.
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Sep 15 2012 22:23

Quote:

I'm not one to tweet about politics, but a small exception for my English speaking followers...

One million people were out in the streets of Portugal in the biggest anti-government protest since 1974.

Thousands in front of parliament as we speak.

http://ja.twitter.com/baavin

Quote:

What started as a spontaneous protest outside parliament has grown to 1000s, easily some 10k.

Standoff continues outside the Parliament in Lisbon. barricades were just used by protesters against riot police.

Stones being thrown by protesters at riot police on the steps to parliament. Lisbon.

http://ja.twitter.com/Igualitarista

Aerial photo of the anti-austerity demo in Porto

Marching on parliament

live stream

Mark.
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Sep 15 2012 21:51
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Expected huge crowds in Lisbon & Porto, but surprised by the 1000s protesting in towns like Marinha Grande:

http://ja.twitter.com/Igualitarista

Mark.
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Sep 15 2012 22:34


London demo

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Toms
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Sep 15 2012 22:41
Quote:
Basta de apertar o cinto! É hora de cerrar os punhos!
Secção AIT-SP - Lisboa, comunicados
Saudamos todos aqueles e aquelas que se recusam a continuar a assistir em silêncio a este ataque interminável contra as nossas condições de existência e se dispõem a lutar.

Repudiamos absolutamente mais esta ofensiva, anunciada um mês depois de mais uma pirueta cínica da lei laboral, feita, como todas as anteriores, com o propósito único de nos enfraquecer e roubar.

Não podemos continuar a aceitar passivamente o nosso empobrecimento, para que uma pequena elite continue a ter lucros fabulosos. Apesar de nos apresentarem estas medidas de austeridade como inevitáveis, é possível pôr o pé no travão e dizer basta!

De pouco adiantarão manifestações e passeatas pontuais ou greves bem comportadas de um só dia. O Estado sabe muito bem o que anda a fazer e porquê. É preciso rasgar o velho fetiche absurdo da democracia e da «vontade popular». O Governo – este ou qualquer outro – não depende de nós, mas da classe dominante que nos explora e, confrontada com esta crise, sabe que terá que extorquir-nos cada vez mais trabalho a troco de cada vez menos salário.

Os tempos que vivemos exigem união e coragem. União, porque isolados nada podemos contra este regime que nos esmaga. Coragem, porque a luta deverá ser levada até às últimas consequências.

Toda a luta deve ser auto-organizada. Com aqueles que sofrem os mesmos problemas que nós podemos criar grupos, assembleias, movimentos, sindicatos auto-organizados e lutar directamente, sem recurso a intermediários ou representantes, tendo ao nosso lado apenas iguais, não renunciando a métodos, hoje malditos mas que já provaram a sua eficácia, como o bloqueio, a sabotagem, a greve ‘selvagem’ e, acima de tudo, a solidariedade e o apoio-mútuo entre explorados e oprimidos em luta.

É preciso levar a resistência a todos os locais onde há exploração e injustiça!

Mostrar a nossa revolta não só é absolutamente necessário como urgente!

À luta! Pela vida que nos querem roubar!

Unidos e auto-organizados, nós damos-lhes a «crise»!

Associação Internacional dos Trabalhadores – Secção Portuguesa
Núcleo de Lisboa (organização anarco-sindicalista)

Setembro 2012

Mark.
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Sep 15 2012 23:09

Obrigado

Quote:

‪@Igualitarista‬ ‪Pretty massive today in Portugal. Did the people finally wake up?

‪@WEAYL‬ We'll see. For now, they're starting to make up for lost time. ‬

http://ja.twitter.com/Igualitarista

Mark.
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Sep 16 2012 09:17

Mark.
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Sep 16 2012 09:39
Quote:

‪@Igualitarista‬ Is there any numbers on how many turned out?

‪@samioj‬ Participants claim 1 million across the country, half a million in Lisbon. Media estimates just go with 100s of 1000s in total.

http://ja.twitter.com/Igualitarista/status/247132309659217920

Some estimates of numbers from a mainstream media source. I'm not sure that everywhere's been listed but they come up with 'around 669,000' in total.

Quote:

A acompanhar as diferentes manifestações no país, a página "Que se lixe a troika. Queremos as nossas vidas" - que promoveu os protestos, através do Facebook - divulgou os números nacionais. A eles juntam-se mais algumas fontes. Estes são os números possíveis:
 
Lisboa - 500.000 manifestantes (números da organização)
Porto - 100.000 (organização)
Covilhã - 1.000 (números da organização)
Castelo Branco - 1.500 (organização)
Viseu - entre 15.000 e 20.000 (organização)
Beja - mais de 1.000 (organização)
Coimbra - 20.000 (números da PSP)
Setúbal - 6.000 a 7.000 (organização)
Leiria - 3.000 (organização)
Faro - 3.000 a 4.000 (organização)
Funchal - 2.000 (três fontes locais)
Marinha Grande - 3.000 (organização)
Portimão - 1.000 (segundo a Lusa)
Évora - 500 pessoas (Lusa)
Vila Real - 1.500 (dados da PSP)
Braga - 5.000 (dados da PSP local)
Total - cerca de 669.000

expresso.pt

Mark.
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Sep 16 2012 10:42
Hugo Ferro wrote:

One week after the Prime Minister of Portugal announcement of more austerity measures, the portuguese people showed their disagreement in the streets of more than 30 cities.

The biggest demonstrations occurred in the cities of Lisbon and Porto. In total, about 1 million people protested against the Government leaded by Pedro Passos Coelho and also against Troika.

The demonstrations, called through the social network Facebook, gained strength when the Portuguese Government announced that next year, the burden of social security contributions to will power increase from 11 to 18 percent, an power increase of seven per cent per person, in addition to other taxes and soaring, unbearable prices of public utilities.

But some historical voices inside his party (PSD) has already proved against such measures, and the other coalition party shows some ideological divergences that could threaten the stability of the government.

The President of the Republic, Aníbal Cavaco Silva, remaines silent, but have convened the State Council for next Friday, September 21st.

Some social groups and unions have called for more protests in the coming weeks and the beginning of next month.

Todays demonstrations, are described by many as the greatest ever. Even bigger than the "Geração à Rasca" protest, which was the beginning of the fall of the government of José Sócrates.

If at that time the discontent was not a concrect target, the target now is the exaggerated austerity on the middle class and the most vulnerable people.

Since austerity measures were Implemented unemployment has rocketed to record levels of 15,7 percent, and Portugal is in its worst recession since 1974.

So far, austerity measures in Portugal have not lead to the same levels of resistance seen in other countries. However, the biggest protest in thirty years, and growing animosity amongst workers are hopefully signs that more muscular fight-back may be on the horizon.

(follow link for photos from Porto)

Mark.
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Sep 16 2012 23:24

Some mainstream media reports - it's a mystery where they get their numbers from ('over 100,000', 'more than 150,000'). The protests haven't actually received much coverage, nothing at all on the Guardian site for example.

Reuters: Huge rallies in Portugal as anger over tax hikes grows
RT: Portugal marches against austerity

Mark.
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Sep 16 2012 23:29

Portuguese bloggers:

Igualitárista: Latest austerity plunges Portugal into deeper crisis

The music in my head: Portugal rising

Mark.
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Sep 17 2012 23:42

Global Voices: Massive protest against troika sparks momentum

Take the Square: Portugal: we want our lives

ONN: Portugal stage biggest protest since 1974 revolution whilst international mainstream media ignores it

-----

Quote:
Activists in ‪Portugal‬ organizing mass protest on presidential palace
this Friday during crucial political meeting
http://www.facebook.com/events/346303275461073/

http://ja.twitter.com/Igualitarista

Mark.
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Sep 18 2012 11:10
Quote:

Saturday's mass demos in Portugal may have defeated the 7% tax hike on workers. media unanimous against it now, PM politically isolated.

Somebody has to back down. Will be the prime minister or his all important coalition partner who spoke out Sunday against the tax hike.

http://ja.twitter.com/Igualitarista/status/247868340536750082

Mark.
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Sep 19 2012 21:39

Photos from Saturday

Mark.
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Sep 20 2012 10:04

Communiqué from the Association of Officers of the Armed Forces
(scroll down for English translation)

Mark.
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Sep 21 2012 10:09

Economist: The tipping point, how much austerity is too much?

Quote:
A fortnight is a long time in the euro crisis. In two short weeks Portugal has gone from being a model pupil, praised in Brussels and Frankfurt for steadfastly pressing ahead with a reform programme tied to a €78 billion ($101 billion) bail-out to a cautionary example of the dangers facing governments which attempt to push austerity beyond the tolerance of long-suffering voters…

'Wake up, you men who sleep', the song for tomorrow's demo, apparently.

Quote:
Today, Portugal time, hundreds of Portuguese citizens, including professional and amateur singers, will gather in front of the Parliament to sing this song. It roughly translates to “Wake up”, and it was the way two female singers and a music teacher found to contribute to the biggest civil movement Portugal has witnessed for the past 38 years…

http://muzikoenmiakapo.wordpress.com/2012/09/21/sing-a-song-together/

Mark.
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Sep 21 2012 10:11

.

Mark.
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Sep 21 2012 22:17
Quote:

For ‪@HomsiAnarchist‬, protesters in Portugal singing Grandola Vila Morena outside parliament last Saturday:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzPXZHgUyU0

‪@Igualitarista‬ YES this made my day A luta continua!

‪@HomsiAnarchist‬ also found this documentary the other day. Only english 1 I've found on the revolution years
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xlyuc6_scenes-from-the-class-struggles-in-portugal-part-1_shortfilms

‪@Igualitarista‬ This is great always wanted an English doc on 25 de abril

‪@HomsiAnarchist‬ it covers the whole period. The most radical aspects not even happening till months after 25 de abril.

http://ja.twitter.com/Igualitarista/status/248964222938132480

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grândola,_Vila_Morena
Edit: Grândola, Vila Morena - the movie

------

Counterfire: Portugal, the spell is broken

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Melancholy of R...
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Sep 21 2012 11:34

What, no pictures of the hug-a-cop-all-is-fine-with-world-let's-abolish-money girl?

Mark.
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Sep 21 2012 11:49

It seemed like a step too far.

Mark.
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Sep 21 2012 23:21
Quote:

"Wake up!" - translation: João Lourenço



Wake up!

Wake up!

Those of you who slumber

while rocking

the pain of a wicked silence.

Come with the shouting

of virile souls

and pluck the flower

whose root is asleep



Wake up!

Wake up!

Thunders and typhoons

that lie dormant in the air

and in the crowds.

Come and ignite

with stars and songs,

the stones of the sea

the world and hearts



Wake up!

Inflame with

souls and suns

this sea void of piers

and flashing lighthouses.

and awake at last

after all fights are through,

our ancient heroes

sleeping in the caves

Wake up!

Quote:

20 thousand demonstrating in Lisbon right now:
http://on.fb.me/OJJPV8

360 degree panorama of the ongoing anti-austerity protest in ‪#Portugal‬:
http://360.io/TswjCq

‪#21spt‬: poster at the protest in Lisbon: IMF,EU & European Central Bank vultures descending on ‪#Portugal‬: ‪
http://twitter.com/Igualitarista/status/249217643909881856/photo/1/large

‪#21spt‬: 1000s of protesters remain outside presidential palace, still waiting on the "thieves" inside to exit: ‪
http://twitter.com/Igualitarista/status/249240028864200705/photo/1/large

Navy investigating if active members of the military participated in today's anti austerity demonstration:
http://www.dn.pt/politica/interior.aspx?content_id=2784364&page=-1

10pm still 1000s outside presidential palace. police line just pushed into crowd few minutes ago. brief skirmish but calm for now.

Almost 11pm, still 1000s of protesters outside presidential palace. Chant continues: out, out, out of here, the hunger, the misery & the IMF.

Nearly midnight and the anti-austerity protesters in Lisbon, Portugal remain outside the presidential palace: http://bambuser.com/v/2999934

Meanwhile, Expresso is reporting that govt will abandon the tax hike that provoked protests. They'll pursue different austerity instead...

http://ja.twitter.com/Igualitarista

Quote:
Chant tonight outside Portugal's presidential palace: "The police are out here and the thieves are inside"
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Ed
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Sep 22 2012 12:29

Something to smile about.. smile

Portugal backs down on social security tax rise

Quote:
The centre-right government in Portugal has agreed to look for alternatives to a social security tax rise a week after huge anti-austerity street protests.
Mark.
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Sep 22 2012 22:51

The BBC ffs...

Quote:
Last Saturday, tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of Lisbon and other Portuguese cities.

-----

Edit:

BBC video from before yesterday's demo

Reuters report on the cancellation of the tax rise

Algarve Daily News report

Mark.
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Sep 28 2012 21:01

The Guardian wrote:

Two weeks ago, hundreds of thousands marched in the streets of Lisbon and other cities across the country, in the biggest protest since the end of the dictatorship in 1974. The demonstration forced the prime minister into an embarrassing U-turn over social security reform – one of the first times a government tied into austerity as part of a bailout programme responded so decisively to popular revolt.

On Saturday, demonstrators will gather again to march against the spending cuts they believe have pushed their country deeper into recession. Meanwhile, workers have downed tools in protest over changes to working regulations. At Lisbon's usually busy port this week, the cranes were still, the containers stacked high and the lorries parked up, as dock workers staged one of a series of strikes taking place over a five-week period. Graffiti around the town calls for an end to the cuts, a general strike, and even revolution.

The Portuguese are seen to be mild-mannered and accepting compared with their hot-headed Spanish neighbours but, as one trade union veteran noted drily: "We had a revolution, the Spanish had a transition from dictatorship."