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Austerity protests held in Spain, Portugal

Sept. 30, 2012 at 3:32 PM

MADRID, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- Government austerity programs in Spain and Portugal brought out thousands of protesters this weekend.

Portugal's largest labor union called on the government to give the working class a break during a rally in Lisbon Saturday,

The CGTP said the government should instead call on businesses and the wealthy to make a larger contribution to the belt-tightening taking place in Portugal.

The Wall Street Journal reported Portuguese workers have seen their average take-home pay fall about 24 percent through wage cuts and higher taxes.

Similar sentiments were expressed Saturday night in neighboring Spain, where about 4,500 protesters rallied in Madrid, organizers said.

Think Spain said the rally in the Spanish capital was staged by the same opposition groups that marshaled protesters across Spain last week, and who vowed to keep up the pressure on the government as it tightens its belt.

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