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'Screw the Troika!' Portugal's Streets Flooded With Message: 'Austerity Kills'

Andrea Germanos, staff writer

Over 40 cities across Portugal on Saturday were filled with calls by the hundreds of thousands denouncing the austerity imposed by the Troika—the IMF, the European Commission and the European Central Bank.

Carrying banners reading "Screw the Troika" and "Austerity Kills," protesters marched under the slogan, "It is the people who lead," a line from Grandola, Vila Morena, a song that became the anthem of the 1974 "Carnation Revolution" against dictatorship.

The demonstrations, BBC News reports,

coincide with a visit by inspectors from the EU and the IMF, which demanded austerity measures as a condition for a 78bn-euro (£64bn) bailout in 2011.

"This government has left the people on bread and water, selling off state assets for peanuts to pay back debts that were contracted by corrupt politicians to benefit bankers," Fabio Carvalho, a movie-maker taking part in the protest in Lisbon, told Reuters.

"If not today, things have to change tomorrow and we need to remain in the streets for the government to fall," said Carvalho.

"The country can't handle more austerity," the Wall Street Journal reports the main opposition leader, António José Seguro, as saying. "What we need is a government that answers to the problems of the Portuguese, who feel that their problems are only growing."

Euronews adds that Armenio Carlos, Secretary-General of the trade union CGTP stated of the anti-austerity protests:

Today it is clear that this government has no political legitimacy, has no moral legitimacy, has no ethical legitimacy to continue to govern, because any visit, by any minister is followed with protests and demands for the resignation of the government. The government has became the problem that prevents the solution.

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