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Hundreds head to Lisbon for anti-austerity demo: unions

Hundreds of protestors were heading to Lisbon on Saturday to take part in a demonstration against austerity measures ahead of next week’s talks with international creditors, unions said.

“Judging by the hundreds of cars that are en route to Lisbon … I think that we will have a big demonstration of indignation,” said Armenio Carlos, general secretary of the CGTP union which called the protest.

Organisers said that vehicles were heading to the capital from both northern and southern areas.

The protest comes just days before officials from the so-called Troika — the European Union, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund — arrive in Portugal on their latest mission to evaluate progress on the country’s bailout programme.

Portugal became the third European Union member state — after Greece and Ireland — to seek international aid when it received a loan of 78 billion euros ($103 billion) from the EU and the IMF last May.

In return it agreed to sell-offs of public companies and labour reforms including less holiday time, which sparked protests in several cities.