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Portugal unions strike over budget cuts

11-25-2010 13:33 BJT

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Portuguese unions have staged the country's largest general strike, pressing the government to scrap austerity measures intended to ward off a debt crisis.

The strike was the first joint action of Portugal's two biggest unions in more than 20 years. They hope to force the minority Socialist government to reverse spending cuts and tax hikes in western Europe's poorest country. Severe austerity measures aimed at reducing Portugal's ballooning budget deficit, have triggered public anger.

Demonstrators dance during a protest in Lisbon November 24, 2010.
Portuguese unions staged what they said was the country's largest general
strike on Wednesday, pressing the government to scrap austerity measures
intended to ward off a debt crisis that is spreading through the euro
zone. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante

One economist says Portugal's fate will depend on whether the market is prepared to buy Portuguese debt - a catalyst to the Greek and Irish bailouts.

Peter Dixon, Economist of Commerzbank said "Once the Portuguese Treasury has to go into the market to try to roll over its debt, we might start to see some funding difficulties, and that's the point at which you could start to see the Portuguese have to start thinking about tapping stability funds in order to tide the economy through the next year or so."

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Editor:Xiong Qu |Source: CNTV.CN

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