Bailed-out Portugal's latest austerity budget approved by Parliament amid wide protests

LISBON, Portugal – Portugal faces more austerity next year after Parliament approved the government’s tough 2014 budget in the face of widespread opposition.

The spending plan will bring a third straight year of cuts demanded by creditors who granted Portugal a 78 billion-euros ($105 billion) bailout in 2011.

The budget aims to save 3.9 billion euros — about 2.3 per cent of Portugal’s annual gross domestic product.

Among other measures, government workers earning more than 675 euros a month will have their pay cut by between 2.5 and 12 per cent and their pensions will be reduced by 10 per cent on average.

Several thousand protesters gathered outside Parliament Tuesday during the vote.

Though Portugal has made progress on the budget front, the country’s economy remains weak with unemployment at 16.3 per cent.