Authorities on tenterhooks 24-hours before Portugal’s ‘yellow vest protests’

Portugal “could stop tomorrow, or not”. This, say reports, is the conclusion of authorities which have been monitoring social media groups organising Portugal’s answer to the yellow vest protests in France, scheduled to get underway tomorrow (click here).

According to Jornal de Notícias today, PSP agents have already infiltrated the various ‘organising groups’ that have been mapping out logistics for the last month, and whose slogan is: “We will stop Portugal”.

For now, the majority of hotspots are in and around the capital, and in the north.

Maps outlining what is going on where are already doing the rounds of social media.

Today, JN produces its own: a total of 29 ‘initiatives’ designed to condition transport and generally ‘protest’ over a gamut of government policies.

As the paper explains, anger in France was sparked by rising fuel prices while here “national yellow vests have a hand full of demands” spanning “everything from low salaries to low pensions and corruption”.

The strategy however “is the same… blockage of all the country’s main ‘nerve centres’.

In the Algarve, bizarrely, this includes the Forum Algarve shopping centre.

Elsewhere, protesters will be targeting Lisbon’s 25 de Abril access bridge – already hampering traffic flow with the start of maintenance work – , the busy IC19, entrances to major motorways servicing the north, and Marquês do Pombal – one of the capital’s busiest central points.

Said one of the organisers, this is an initiative powered by “simple hardworking people” who are hugely dissatisfied with the political system and want change.

For now, prime minister António Costa has called for “calm, and respect for legality”, and the country, Lisbon particularly, is braced.