Leftist Portuguese trade unions organised a rally in Lisbon on Thursday (26 February) to protest against the county's rising cost of living and terrorism.
GV EXT. Police vehicles PAN TO Lisbon International Fair Pavilion.
SV PAN Riot police preventing protesters from entering pavilion. (2 shots)
GV INT Demonstrators chanting and shaking fists. (5 shots)
Initials VS 16.50 VS 16.05
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Background: Leftist Portuguese trade unions organised a rally in Lisbon on Thursday (26 February) to protest against the county's rising cost of living and terrorism.
The rally also demonstrated against the "huge profits of private businessmen" and claimed unions had "played their part for the country" with an effective three month wage freeze which is due to end next Sunday (29 February). There was also a two hour nationwide strike by steelworkers and other communist unions later in the day to protest against unemployment-currently running at 15 per cent -- and the rising cost of living.
About 2,000 workers attended the rally in Lisbon's International Fair Pavilion, but it only went ahead after last minute talks between union organisers and interior ministry officials.
Police originally surrounded the pavilion and prevented demonstrators from entering the building, because the rally had not been officially authorised. However, a delegation representing the demonstration organisers held discussions with government authorities and eventually gave the trade unionists permission to go ahead.
There were no serious incidents when police stepped in to halt the progress of workers who were marching to the pavilion chanting "Victory, victory" and "We shall overcome".
On Wednesday (25 February) the Ministry of Labour had denounced what it called "a vast plot" by the communist controlled unions to undermine the government before the elections which are scheduled to take place on April 25.