INTRODUCTION The Portuguese Prime Minister, Dr. Mario Soares, reshuffled his Cabinet on Friday (25 March)?
INTRODUCTION The Portuguese Prime Minister, Dr. Mario Soares, reshuffled his Cabinet on Friday (25 March) amid controversy over the soaring rate of inflation. However, Dr. Soares said those who regarded the shake up as a sign of government weakness over economic troubles were wrong. Rather, the move would strengthen government determination to deal with inflation. Feeling on the inflation issue is running high in Lisbon where on Thursday (24 March) 4,000 women packed a sports stadium to demand stronger government action.
SYNOPSIS: The rally was organised by the Communist backed Women's Democratic Movement to protest against the rising cost of living. Inflation in Portugal is running at about 30 per cent - and the cost of living rose by 19 per cent in January alone.
Democratic Movement leader, Alice Rocha, told the rally her party planned to organise national committees that would demand consultation measures. She said that Portuguese women must stop being mere spectators in the development of the country. All women -- from dishwashers to child minders -- should answer the call to participate in national life.
The Crowd included a good number of husbands and boyfriends supporting the rally.
As part of a wide ranging package of austerity measures, last month government froze the price of a number of essential foods.
However, at the rally the women complained the list was not extensive enough.
And they demanded the price of eggs, meat, fresh fish, milk and potatoes also be pegged.