Flights grounded, metro closed in Portugal's Lisbon

42478.jpegPortugal's first general 24-hour strike in 22 years has shut Lisbon's metro and grounded most flights as workers protested the government's austerity measures.

Workers at ports, railway services and state-owned post office CTT-Correios de Portugal SA are participating in today's strike, the CGTP labor group said. Most flights departing from Lisbon and Oporto airports have been canceled.

Portugal plans to cut the wages of state workers and raise taxes to try to convince investors it can narrow the euro region's fourth-biggest budget gap after Greece's debt crisis led to a surge in borrowing costs for high-deficit nations. Ireland this week became the second euro country after Greece to seek a European Union and International Monetary Fund rescue, according to Business Week.

Prime Minister Jose Socrates insisted this week that "Portugal doesn't need anyone's help" and will not request a financial rescue by the European Union and International Monetary Fund, reports.


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