The song ‘Grândola, Vila Morena’, one of the symbols of Portugal’s April 1974 revolution, was sung throughout the country on Saturday in demonstrations against the government’s austerity policies, organised by the ‘Screw the troika’ movement.
Although there were no definite numbers, the organisation reckoned over a million people protested in about 40 towns and cities in Portugal and abroad shouting “enough” austerity and “dismiss” the government.
In Lisbon, where various generations were out, the main feeling was sadness but some humour was mixed in with at least one placard saying “I prefer horse in lasagne to donkeys in government”.
In Oporto, thousands took to the streets to chant “Screw the troika, it’s the people who rule”.
In cities with large Portuguese communities like Paris, Madrid, London and Barcelona, the demonstrators wanted to explain why they had emigrated and protest against conditions in the country they intended to return to some day.
As usual with the protests in Portugal there was little or no violence.
The protest came at a time when the troika (International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and European Commission) of international lenders was back in Lisbon for their seventh assessment of the financial and economic bailout package.