About a thousand employees of travel agencies took part in a demonstration in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon on Tuesday (6 July).
MV PAN Travel agency closed
MV PAN Demonstrators with banners march through Restauradoes square from tourism ministry (2 shots)
MV PAN People on balconies watch as demonstrators pass below (2 shots)
GV PAN Finance ministry with demonstrators outside
MV PAN Demonstrators chanting
Portugal's outgoing provisional government approved a series of austerity measures, including increases in income and company taxes, to improve the country's ailing economy, earlier this month. No details of the measures were given.
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Background: About a thousand employees of travel agencies took part in a demonstration in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon on Tuesday (6 July). They were protesting against new government cuts in the amount of money the Portuguese can spend on tourism abroad.
SYNOPSIS: Most travel agencies were closed during the demonstrations against the cuts which reduce the amount by almost a third to 7,000 escudos, about 240 U.S. dollars a year. The cuts were imposed because of Portugal's grave economic crisis, but travel agents say they could be forced into bankruptcy.
The travel agents have threatened to boycott foreign students visiting Portugal and to refuse air tickets to government ministers planning official trips abroad. They issued a statement calling n the government to immediately revoke the regulation. The agencies have also refused to write into Portuguese passports the amount of foreign currency the holders are taking out of the country, a requirement of law. This move is part of a plan to boycott the new regulations.
The demonstrators marched to the Ministry of Finance. Finance minister, Francisco Salgado Zanha, has announced that Portugal will have to borrow 250 million dollars to offset its balance of payment deficit. The country is plagued by inflation and unemployment.