|Portuguese shout slogans during an anti-austerity protest in Lisbon, capital of Portugal, on Oct. 19, 2013. Tens of thousands of Portuguese staged massive protests on Saturday against the government's harsh austerity measures in Portugal's capital Lisbon and the second largest city of Porto in the north. (Xinhua/Zhang Liyun)
LISBON, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- Tens of thousands of Portuguese staged massive protests on Saturday against the government's harsh austerity measures in Portugal's capital Lisbon and the second largest city of Porto in the north.
The protests came only four days after the government approved the 2014 draft budget which forecast more spending cuts to meet the budget deficit reduction target set by international creditors.
In Lisbon, the protesters rallied in rain at Alcantara Square located in the northern end of the April 25 Bridge. The protestors had planned to march across the bridge but were stopped by local authorities due to security reasons.
Raising high placards, the demonstrators, joined by trade union leaders as well as some lawmakers, chanted slogans opposing the troika comprising the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Central Bank, and the government's implementation of the austerity measures.
In Porto, about 20,000 protesters marched through the Prince Bridge across the Douro River, protesting against the troika and the government's austerity policies.
A mechanic who identified himself as Alvares said the current government only did what the troika told them to do without taking into consideration people's interests.
"What the government does is only to increase taxes, cut salaries and allowances which made people's life worse and worse," he added.
Secretary-General of CGPT or the Portuguese Workers Confederation Armenio Carlos said in his speech that his organization planned to stage more demonstrations in the coming months, while calling on the public to act and safeguard their own interests.
Under a 78-billion-euro (101-billion-U.S. dollar) bailout agreement with the troika in May 2011, Portugal has been implementing a tough austerity policy which has been blamed for a lingering recession in the country and has sparked strong discontent among the public.