Thousands of bank workers and insurance clerks marched through the centre of Lisbon on Friday (14 March) to protest against the Portuguese Government's plan to allow the return of private banks.
SVs EXTERIOR Demonstrators march along street carrying placards, banners, etc (2 shots)
SV Union leader speaking
SV PULL BACK TO GV Crowd chanting as Union leader continues speech (2 shots)
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Background: Thousands of bank workers and insurance clerks marched through the centre of Lisbon on Friday (14 March) to protest against the Portuguese Government's plan to allow the return of private banks. The nationalisation of the banks on 14 March, 1975, was the most outstanding economic measure taken by left-wing military officers during the 1974-75 revolution.
SYNOPSIS: About four-thousand left-wing demonstrators marched peacefully through Lisbon's banking district. It was the fifth anniversary of the revolution which put most industry under state control. The insurance companies were nationalised a day later.
The anniversary was used by the left to protest against the government's economic policies. The right-wing Alliance's parliamentary majority earlier this month (March) gave Prime Minister Francisco Sa Carneiro sixty days to issue a decree law allowing private investment in banking, insurance, comments and fertilisers for the first time since 1975. The communists, who control most of the trade unions, have launched a co-ordinated offensive against the government with strikes and demonstrations planned until the end of the month. Most of Portugal's train services were at a standstill on Friday on the second day of an engine-drivers' strike.