Anti-austerity protest strike paralyzes Lisbon underground

Lisbon – A strike paralyzed the Lisbon underground on Tuesday, as part of a protest wave against the Portuguese government’s austerity measures.

Unions said 100 per cent of underground employees joined the strike, which was scheduled for the morning hours.

Underground company officials put the turnout at only 60 per cent, but said all stations had to be closed for security reasons during the work stoppage.

The strike was protesting Prime Minister Jose Socrates’ austerity measures, which are aimed at stabilizing the economy and at warding off an eventual bailout by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

The measures, which include a 5 per cent cut in public sector salaries, have already prompted a string of strikes.

Road transport companies meanwhile continued striking for the second consecutive day to protest high fuel prices.

Lorries that refused to join the strike were stoned in some places, but no major incidents or traffic disruptions were reported.

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