Thousands say ‘Troika get out’

Hundreds of thousands of Portuguese protested throughout the country last Saturday against the Troika and the current government’s austerity policies.

The protesters called for the resignation of the current PSD government and demanded early elections: “If you sleep during democracy, you may wake up in a dictatorship,” said one of the placard messages.

Half-a-million people participated in Lisbon and 400,000 in Porto to protest against austerity measures. Besides holding placards with strong messages against the government and the Troika, some of the protestors also sang Grândola, Vila Morena, a song linked to the 1974 Carnation Revolution that overthrew the fascist dictatorship of António Salazar.

In Faro, 6,000 people participated in the protest, 800 citizens in Loulé and in Portimão there were between 2,000 and 2,500 protesters on the streets.

In Faro, the protest included a rabbit locked in a cage and a hanged dead rabbit – a clear allusion to the fact that the Portuguese are not happy with polices being implemented by Prime Minister Passos Coelho (Rabbit).

Several people in Lisbon and other cities in Portugal held placards with strong messages such as “Screw the Troika, we want our lives back”, “Austerity kills” and “Power to the people”.

Among the marchers were youngsters, teachers, healthcare workers and pensioners, all affected by the budget cuts implemented by the government.