Teachers are to join a general strike in Portugal today. The strike has been called by the two big union federations, the CGTP and the UGT, against the austerity measures of the Portuguese government.

The government is planning to cut billions of dollars more from public spending in obedience to the dictates of the troika (the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund) which has bailed out the Portuguese economy – a process which has seen similar devastating consequences in other Eurozone countries such as Greece. Unemployment amongst youth in Portugal has reached 42%. One young unemployed woman told the Reuters News Agency: “If we think about it, our future is a dark, living-under-the-bridge kind of future... But we don't stop believing, fighting and demanding,"

As well as the strike – which will close schools and bring most of the transport system to a halt – there will be demonstrations, particularly in the capital Lisbon. Anti-austerity groups are joining the unions in taking action today.

The secretary general of the CGTP told the press: “The government continues to harm workers in both local and central government. They forget that if were not for such workers, these services would not happen.”