Reuters - Video

Edition: US | UK | IN | CN | JP

Video

Down and out in strike-hit Portugal

Thursday, November 24, 2011 - 01:50

Nov.24 - As Portuguese workers hold a general strike to protest against austerity measures imposed as the price of an EU bailout a homeless charity reveals how the homeless and poor are increasingly relying on their services. Joanna Partridge reports

▲ Hide Transcript

View Transcript

Public transport that isn't going anywhere. Portuguese workers are holding a general strike that's brought many trains, buses and planes to a standstill. SOUNDBITE: Alini Deakianu, Stranded passenger hoping to travel from Portugal to Brazil, saying (English): "I was very anxious to get home, and right now I have to postpone it. And I also have a seminar that I was going to attend, and I cannot attend it anymore.." Workers began their general strike at midnight on Thursday - protesting against the government's austerity measures. The centre-right government has made deep pay cuts and mass job losses under the terms of the 78 billion euro bailout it received earlier this year from the EU and IMF. But due to the tough fiscal targets the country's now entering the harshest recession in decades. Union leaders are calling for more dialogue with the government. SOUNDBITE: Joao Proenca, UGT Union Leader, saying (Portuguese): 4064 "We want politics focussed on job creation and we want a compromise from the parties on these policies. We want conditions so the country can better battle the crisis." Just over 12% of people are now unemployed in Portugal - the highest level in twenty years. And that's leading to more people becoming homeless, according to one support group. Casa Volunteer Association provides food and clothing for the poor and people who live on the streets. Unemployed Carlos had an accident but doesn't receive any disability benefits. SOUNDBITE: Carlos Reis, Unemployed, saying (Portuguese): "I only got into this situation recently. I don't have any other support as I've always worked and lived from my work." Lisbon will have to cut its budget deficit even further in 2012. That means more Portuguese are likely to become reliant on organisations like Casa. Joanna Partridge, Reuters

Press CTRL+C (Windows), CMD+C (Mac), or long-press the URL below on your mobile device to copy the code

Down and out in strike-hit Portugal

Thursday, November 24, 2011 - 01:50