There seems to be a protest almost every day somewhere in Europe, and last night it was the turn of the people of Portugal again. Under the watchful eye of hundreds of police in riot gear thousands of people took to the streets of the capital, Lisbon, to voice their anger of the passing of the country’s budget for next year.
2,000 or so protestors surrounded the Parliament building, where the budget was being formalised, in disgust over the fact that 2013 is most definitely going to be an extraordinarily tough time for the Portuguese people. Prime Minister Pedro Passos rubber-stamped yet more tax rises and harsh spending cuts, which will see the country spiral into a recession for the third year running. The cuts are needed to stay in line with the conditions of the 78 billion Euro (almost £63 billion) bailout, the government received last year to stop the country going bankrupt. The angry protestors cried out for the resignation of the PM and his government: "It’s time for you to leave" and "Passos, go, you’re a son of a gun."
Finance Minister Vitor Gaspar said if the country doesn’t stick on the current path of austerity, it could be catastrophic for its people. Opposition Socialists called the tax hike 'a fiscal atomic bomb,' saying it denied the country growth and jobs creation.
Written and presented by Marverine Cole.