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German chancellor Merkel to visit Portugal

11-11-2012 10:29 BJT

LISBON, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit debt-ridden Portugal with the accompany of leaders of some of Germany's most prominent companise including Volkswagen and Siemens on Monday, local media reported on Saturday.

Merkel will be received by Portuguese President Cavaco Silva before meeting with Prime Minister Passos Coelho. She will also be present at the Portugual-German Economic Forum in Lisbon, Portugal's Lusa news agency said.

Merkel will also announce 100 internship scholarships for Portuguese graduates in Germany in an attempt to promote bilateral relationships.

The chancellor's visit comes before the Protuguese are set to stage a general strike with huge numbers of participants on Wednesday. She will also be greeted with protests which were planned long before she sets foot on the country.

Portugal's Security, Organized Crime and Terrorism Observatory (OBSCOT) warned last week that protests during Merkel's visit could escalate to "unprecedented levels of violence."

The chancellor's visit has been labelled a "high risk" and preparations to ensure her security and that of her entourage were set in motion several weeks ago.

It is reported that the country's airspace has been closed and speedboats have been prepared on the Tagus river running through the capital.

The country has seen continuous, widespread protests and demonstrations since the government announced a raft of austerity measures which highlights drastic tax hike in September to satisfy a 78-billion-euro bailout plan set by the so called troika -- the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank.


Editor:Hu Pengcheng |Source: Xinhua

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