Hundreds of thousands of people flooded the streets of Portuguese cities protesting austerity measures that the government hopes will help to avoid the bailout and lift the country out of recession.
Protests, coordinated through social media by nonpartisan groups, have swept across the country with the biggest mass demonstration taking place in the capital Lisbon.
According to rally coordinators, some 500,000 protesters filled a Lisbon boulevard leading to the Finance Ministry. Many of them were carrying placards and chanting "It's time for the government to go!" and "Screw the Troika, we want our lives back," referring to the lenders from the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund.
People in the crowd sang 'Grandola,' a protest song from the 1974 'Carnation Revolution' that ousted the dictatorship established by Antonio Salazar, and brought an end to military rule in the country. During the past few week activists have sung the song to heckle government ministers making public speeches.
What the protesters are demanding is a complete change of the government’s policies aimed at reviving Portugal’s economy as the country faces its worst recession since the 1970s.