Teachers in Portugal took part in a 24 hour strike on Friday against further cuts, which are decimating public services in the country. This is the latest round of cuts being imposed by the government at the bidding of the Troika - the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Union. This strike, which also included health workers and local government employees, was just the latest round in the long fight back in the country against these measures. Last March, a million people took to the streets against the measures and last year, plans to slash social security were turned back by mass protests.

According to reports, the latest round of cuts, announced in the October budget, increase the public sector work week to 40 hours from 35, cut retirement pensions by 10 per cent and lower the salaries of those earning more than $852 gross a month by between 2.5 per cent and 12 per cent.

Hospitals were draped with banners saying 'Against the Dismantling of the State' and 'Hard-won Rights cannot be Stolen'. Meanwhile rubbish piled up on the pavements as the rubbish collecters joined the strike and schools were shut. Between 70% and 100% of workers answered the strike call, according to union leaders.