Strikes, protests and legal action make life difficult for bailed-out Portugal’s government

LISBON, Portugal – The Portuguese government’s woes are piling up as it battles to comply with austerity measures demanded by its 78 billion-euro ($105 billion) bailout.

Amid a recent spate of strikes by labour groups and street protests against pay and pension cuts, Lisbon ferry workers walked off the job Monday. Also, court sessions were cancelled as magistrates went on strike, while a walkout by border guards caused delays at airports.

Last weekend, President Anibal Cavaco Silva asked the constitutional Court to rule on the legality of a new law cutting the pensions of government workers. The court has disallowed key debt-reduction measures five times over the past two years.

Inspectors from Portugal’s bailout creditors are due in Lisbon next week amid concerns the country may end up needing more financial help.