Public services and transport came to a grinding halt in Portugal on Wednesday as the country experienced its biggest strike in 22 years. Two major trade unions called a 24-hour strike to protest against government austerity measures. The strike grounded most flights, closed ports, and stopped subway trains, bus and ferry connections. The unions that called the strike reported 3 million participants, mostly from the public sector.
The government will vote tomorrow on next year's spending plan – including a 5 percent cut from some public sector salaries, a hiring freeze, and a rise in the VAT from 21 to 23 percent.