SHORT SUMMARY: Wednesday
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Portuguese Prime Minister José Sócrates will face the country’s first joint general strike in 22 years as the two biggest labor organizations prepare to protest against the government’s austerity measures. UGT and CGTP agreed to call a general strike for November 24 to protest against austerity measures. Portugal’s government is seeking to cut the budget gap from 9.3 percent of gross domestic product in 2009, the fourth- highest in the 16-nation euro region after Ireland, Greece and Spain. The measures include cutting public sector wages by 5 per cent in 2011, freezing pensions, and raising value-added tax. The cuts may hurt an economy that has barely grown for a decade, with expansion averaging less than 1 percent annually since 2000. The strike action will cause flight delays and some cancellations for flights operating to/from Portuguese airports and those that overfly Portugal as the 24-hour strike is set to affect Portuguese air traffic control. Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair it will cancel over 60 flights.