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Portuguese police charge protesters

Portuguese police on Wednesday charged protesters who had gathered in front of the parliament building in Lisbon during a general strike against the centre-right government’s austerity measures.

Police dispersed the protesters with baton blows after demonstrators threw stones and rubbish at them for more than an hour.

The protesters had gathered in front of parliament after a protest that gathered several thousand people in the Portuguese capital.

Tensions had already risen when protesters overturned police security barriers and began pelting officers with objects.

Five protesters were injured by hurling objects and one had to be hospitalised, a police spokesman said.

Anti-austerity rallies also took place in other Portuguese cities, including Porto in the north, where some 2,000 people protested.

The general strike, the country’s second since March, came on a day of anti-austerity strikes across Europe and caused havoc for the public transportation network and public services.