* Government reaffirms deficit goals, austerity budget
* Other unions likely to join
* Protests planned on Saturday
LISBON, May 31 Portugal's largest labour union
has called a general anti-government strike for June 27 to
protest against public sector pay cuts, layoffs and other
austerity measures imposed to meet EU/IMF bailout terms.
The strike will encompass workers in the country's public
and private sectors, CGTP chief Armenio Carlos told reporters on
Friday, adding that all other unions were welcome to join.
"It is a strike for everyone, it is a strike to promote
change of policy, of the government and to call for early
elections," he said.
Previous stoppages since Portugal's mid-2011 bailout,
including a general strike in November, have had little impact.
But strife has intensified lately since April's rejection by
the Constitutional Court of some austerity measures that forced
the government to come up with alternative spending cuts and
other unpopular steps like raising the retirement age.
The country's other big umbrella union, the UGT, has said it
is likely to join the strike. It holds a strategy meeting next
week. CGTP groups about 750,000 workers and UGT some 500,000.
The centre-right government imposed the largest tax hikes in
living memory from the start of the year and in early May
announced 4.8 billion euros in savings until 2015, including a
redundancy program in the public sector.
In an amended budget, the government on Friday reaffirmed
its recently-eased deficit target of 5.5 percent of gross
domestic product for this year. Next year's deficit target is 4
percent. It expects the economy to shrink 2.3 percent in 2013,
after last year's 3.2 percent slump, with the country expected
to return to meagre growth next year.
A group known as "Screw the Troika", in reference to
Portugal's three lenders from the European Commission, European
Central Bank and IMF, plans anti-austerity rallies on Saturday.
Teachers' unions have promised to start a series of strikes
between June 7 and 17 during the national exams at schools.