Austerity Protests Are Rude Awakening in Portugal [View all]
Portugal has long been regarded a role model in the grinding euro zone crisis. In return for an international bailout, its government cut services and raised taxes while its citizens patiently endured with little of the popular outcry seen elsewhere in southern Europe.
That is, until now.
Suddenly, the Portuguese, too, have joined the swelling ranks of Europeís discontented, following Greece and Spain, after the government tried to take another step up the austerity path last month. For many here, it was one step too far, driving tens of thousands into the streets in the largest protest of Portugalís crisis.
As Pedro Passos Coelho, Portugalís center-right prime minister, prepares to announce a new budget on Monday ó filled with still more steep tax increases and public sector job cuts ó he faces the kind of popular backlash that was, until recently, absent from the political and social landscape here.