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The fight to protect Turkey's green spaces began decades ago

June 5, 2013

Breaking News:

American Woman Killed in Syria Fighting for Terrorists, Syrian TV Claims (Video) -

Friday, May 31, 2013

CO2 in the Air Reached its Highest Level in Human History -

Friday, May 10, 2013

Terms of the New Abortion Bill Agreed by Irish Cabinet -

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Boston In Lockdown As Manhunt Intensifies -

Friday, April 19, 2013

2 Dead, Dozens Injured After Boston Marathon Bombing -

Monday, April 15, 2013

Fast Food Workers in New York Stage Surprise Strike -

Saturday, April 6, 2013

N. Korean Rhetoric Provokes Missile Shield Deployment -

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Eyewitness Accounts from Meiktila Massacre -

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Sudan to Free All Political Prisoners -

Monday, April 1, 2013

A New Free Press In Burma Juxtaposed With Genocide: The World Will Be Watching -

Friday, March 29, 2013

Pressure Builds to End Ethnic Violence in Myanmar -

Friday, March 29, 2013

Activists Demand Action As Further Genocide Looms -

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Cyprus Reaches Last-Minute Bailout Deal With EU -

Monday, March 25, 2013

Myanmar Muslims Brace for Possible Genocide -

Sunday, March 24, 2013

IMF Chief Lagarde’s Home Searched over Tapie Scandal -

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Cyprus Crisis Deepens as the Country Rejects Bailout -

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

HSBC Faces Criminal Charges in Argentina -

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Cyprus Bailout: Banks Relieved, Cypriots Squeezed -

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Brooklyn Residents Struggle With Division Amidst Grief -

Friday, March 15, 2013

Rand Paul Ends Confirmation Filibuster, White House Responds -

Thursday, March 7, 2013

This Time Portugal Protests Against Austerity

Thousands of Portugueses marched on the streets of more than 20 cities in Portugal today, protesting Portugal Government’s extreme austerity measures that were implemented in exchange of a €78 billion ($101 billion) international bailout needed in 2011.

The people on the streets were shouting and waiving their placards that said “Screw the troika, we want our lives back.” in Lisbon, demonstrators threw tomatoes and beer bottles at the IMF’s office. ‘Troika’ is the nickname given to The European Commission, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Central Bank, the lenders behind the country’s financial bailout. It literally means a Russian carriage pulled by three horses, but no Russians are involved in this situation.

The crisis had already led to the resignation of Prime Minister José Sócrates, after he tried to push through a fourth package of austerity measures. In June 2011, Pedro Passos Coelho, the leader of the Social Democrats, became prime minister as the head of a center-right coalition government with the conservative Popular Party.

Portugal is one of the PIGS (also PIIGS) as it is named by some international bond analysts, academics, and the economic media, referring to the economies of Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Spain due to their debt problems. The use of the term in the media has been limited since it was considered offensive by the countries’ people (no kidding).

The country has been battling with the debt crisis since the spring of 2010, that began in Greece and has spread across much of Europe’s periphery. Similar to the Greece, the Portugal government has also gone under debt by over expenditure and investment bubbles through unclear public-private partnerships and contracts.

These partnerships have funded numerous ineffective and unnecessary projects and consultancy committees and firms, allowing considerable failure in state-managed public works. They also inflated top management and head officers’ bonuses and wages. (I strongly urge all of you to read/listen to the article that was published by us, titled The First Truly Global Empire: John Perkins’ Interview with Progressive Press.)

When these projects, their inept managers and corrupt, inefficient politicians plunged the country in debt, interest rates began to rise as a consequence of investors’ fears, mounting the country’s already high debt burden. As a response to this situation, Portugal’s government, with the guidance of the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and (IMF) and the European Central Bank, decided to enact three rounds of austerity measures. These measures in return put the country’s economy further into deep recession, making the situation worse.

One of the conditions of the bailout by the troika was to implement sweeping fire-sale of state companies to privatize them. So far the sales include 21% of the state utility company Energias de Portugal  for €2.7bn, and a quarter share in electricity grid operator REN for €387million to China.

Portugal has also tried to tap oil-rich former colony Angola for investors as it aims to sell off everything from public broadcaster RTP to parts of the postal service, water utilities, state banks, the rail service and oil firm Galp.

Meanwhile many state hospitals are closing. Many teachers are out of work. State benefits, public wages and pensions are being cut. By January 2012, the ratings agency Standard & Poor’s cut Portugal’s credit to junk status. By June, the country’s unemployment rate had jumped to 14.9 percent.

Image Credit: Video-BBC News, Photo-The Hindu

Emine Dilek (117 Posts)

Publisher/Managing Editor: Progressive Press. Contributing Editor: WVoN-Women's Views on News. Columnist: Palm Beach Woman Magazine. Former executive producer and radio host: WVR -Women's Voice Radio, Human Rights/Peace Activist, Aspiring Author/ Journalist/ Poet/ Blogger. Emine also appears as a revolving guest on PNN radio show -international political analyst-, and had been a guest on Liberal Fix and Brian Hammer Jackson Show. Her articles have been published in various publications such as The Vibe UK, The New Agenda, W.E.A Women @ Work, Amazing Women Rock and ICAHK.