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Portugal’s police rally for wage hike

Published on 28/09/2011

Several hundred police officers and gendarmerie rallied in front of the Portuguese parliament on Wednesday to demand wage increases.

The rally was part of larger movement called the “Walk of Indignation” organised by a coalition of unions representing workers in various law enforcement departments.

“The police are right” and “the fight continues, police in the streets” shouted the demonstrators, who numbered roughly 1,500, according to organisers.

Asked about the rally, Portugal’s Interior Minister Miguel Macedo said the government’s room to manoeuvre in public sector wages is “very narrow”.

In April, Portugal became the third eurozone country after Greece and Ireland to request an emergency bailout from the EU and the International Monetary Fund to deal with its mountain of debt.

In exchange for the 78 billion euro ($106 billion) the country agreed to abide by reforms demanded by its creditors, including tough budget cutting measures.

Lisbon has already passed a wave of measures including a hike in transport prices, increased taxes on gas and electricity and cutbacks in the public work force.