Portugal Plans 30,000 Public Sector Layoffs in New Wave of Austerity Measures
By Geetha Pillai | May 4, 2013 6:59 PM EST
Portugal has announced massive layoffs and rise in retirement age in the public sector services as the country tries to get another instalment of bailout fund from international lenders.
The country is aiming to save €4.8bn ($6.3bn/£4bn) over three years with the budget cuts and changes will take effect from 2014.
The reforms require civil servants to work 40-hour weeks instead of 35, while the full pension age has been pushed back to 66 from the present 65.
"With these measures, our European partners cannot doubt our commitment [to the bailout]," said Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho in an address to the nation.
"To hesitate now would harm the credibility that we have already won back".
Lisbon is hoping to bring down its public deficit to 5.5% of the GDP this year, to 4% in 2014 and to 2.5% in 2015, well below the EU ceiling of 3%.
Resentment over the austerity measures is widespread in the country, which is reeling under the pressures of rising unemployment and shrinking growth. The Portuguese economy is expected to contract by 2.3% this year, while the jobless rate is forecast to surpass the record high of 18%.
The main Socialist opposition party has blamed the government for applying excessive austerity on the country that has worsened the economic slowdown.
Earlier, the Portuguese Constitutional Court had overruled over €1bn of proposed budget cuts, which included suspension of holiday bonuses for public sector workers and pensioners.
Though the government has had to look for other sources for savings due to the court's ruling, the prime minister has ruled out any increase in taxes.
"We will not raise taxes to correct the budgetary problem resulting from the Constitutional Court's decision," said Coelho while unveiling the medium-term programme.
"The way must be through the structural reduction of public spending".
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Still The World Champions: Team USA Overpowers Serbia, 129-92 To Win 2014 FIBA World Cup [PHOTOS]
- Pope Francis: World War III Has Started On Piecemeal
- After Win Over Maidana, Mayweather Says He Is Prepared To Negotiate A Fight With Pacquiao
- From Fat To Fit: Celebrities Who Were Overweight Before They Became The Beauties That They Are
Join the Conversation
- iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus vs Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8: Performance, CPU and Health
- Google Release Roundup: Nexus 5 2014, Nexus 6, Nexus 8 and Android L Killer Features
- Samsung Attacks iPhone 6 Plus Through New Galaxy Note 4 Commercial: Apple Claims Imitating Galaxy Note Phablets
- iPhone 6 And IPhone 6 Plus Sold Out, New Stocks To Arrive In October
- Moto G (Gen 2) vs. Xiaomi Redmi 1S—Specifications, Features And Price Showdown
- Nexus 6, 8 Release Dates Imminent as Moto X Pre-Order Begins & Nexus 7 Deals Ramp Up
- Pregnant Kate Middleton May Call Off Malta Trip Due To Sickness: Royal Couple Will Move To Anmer Hall Residence