Fresh Portugal strike halts metro, ferry service
Public transport in Portugal ground to a halt on Thursday in the latest strike to protest restructuring plans that are part of government austerity measures.
In the capital Lisbon, the metro stopped running at midnight and ferry services were stopped for the crucial rush-hour traffic during the 24-hour action. Trains and busses however were running as normal.
The strike, the third since November, aims “to protest against the strategic plan for transport,” Jose Oliveira, the coordinator for the Federation for Transport Unions (FECTRANS), told the Lusa news agency.
Included in this plan are measures ranging “from reducing the number of posts to reducing salaries” as well as “a range of negative impacts for the population notably the increase in transport prices and the reduction of services,” he said.
Portugal is carrying out drastic austerity measures, including public sector pay cuts and tax raises, as part of the financial plan from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.
After Greece and Ireland in 2010, Portugal became the third eurozone member state needing a bailout in May 2011 when it could no longer raise fresh funds at sustainable rates on the financial markets.