Portugal to lay off 30,000 civil service jobs

  • Portugal has announced a layoff of 30,000 civil service jobs and an extension of the retirement age of civil servants to 66, in an attempt to meet the terms of the country's bailout.

    Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho announced that the country's civil servants will be required to work 5 additional hours each week. In 2011, the country received a €78 billion bailout from the European Central Bank, European Union, and the International Monetary Fund. The austerity measures undertaken have been highly unpopular and have sparked off widespread protests in the country.

    Last month the government proposed €1 billion ($1.3 billion) worth of budgetary cuts including suspension of holiday bonuses for public sector workers and pensioners but these cuts were rejected by the Portuguese Constitutional Court forcing the layoff. The announcement comes at a time when the country's unemployment stands at a record high (18%) and the country's economy has been shrinking for three straight years.

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