International press highlights Portugal’s “crush of labour demands”

Viewed from abroad, news that Portugal’s police forces are threatening a “month without fines” while nurses are striking in targeted spurts has been interpreted as a “crush of labour demands”.

The Associated Press article using these words in its headline has been repeated across the globe, suggesting “political temperature” that had “slackened off over the last year” is once again rising.

AP makes much of the action threatened by police, quoting union representative Paulo Rodrigues saying the current coalition government “cannot be trusted”.

Rodrigues confirmed that from Monday next week officers dealing with the public would incline more toward “prevention, guidance and explanation rather than repression”, adds AP, picking up yesterday’s story in national papers claiming this means fines will not be imposed.

The nurses strikes – which have already taken place for the last two weeks up and down the country – are expected to continue, says AP, stressing that recent opinion polls still put the coalition and main opposition Socialist party “roughly neck-and-neck in voting intentions”.

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