Video: Portuguese rally in support for Greece ‘No’ vote

AFP / Jose Manuel Ribeiro I People hold three cardboard letters forming the word "OXI" (‘No’ in Greek) as they take part in a demonstration in support of Greece, in Lisbon on July 4

Ahead of Greece’s crucial referendum Sunday over whether to accept more budget cuts in exchange for bailout funds, rallies supporting a ‘No’ vote have been held all over the world, including austerity-hit Portugal.


Thousands of people in Portugal have backed the position of the Greek Syriza party just months before parliamentary elections at home.

"I am here today in solidarity with the fight of the Greek people and to show my solidarity with the ones who tomorrow will vote ‘No’ to austerity measures," said one protester at a rally in Lisbon Saturday.

"I’m here to show solidarity to the Greek people for having the courage that we still did not have," added another.

Like Greece, Portugal needed financial assistance four years ago. The government at the time agreed to the bailout conditions set out by the Troika of lenders: the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank.

And with legislative elections just a few months away in Portugal, many people here are watching Greece very closely.

"The Greek economy represents 0.4 percent of the euro zone, so if there is a Grexit it doesn’t really matter, that is not the key point. The problem is the message that it would send about the solidity of the institutions," says the French economist Patrick Artus.

A Grexit would undoubtedly shake Europe. It would demonstrate that membership of the euro zone is not permanent and might affect the borrowing costs for other countries, for example.

But it would not inevitably lead to political rebellion elsewhere.

All three main parties in Portugal have agreed to follow the austerity plan which concluded in May last year and there is no party which is a real equivalent to Syriza.

National leaders in Spain and Italy, which also have struggling economies, have also publically called on Athens to follow the rules.

Click on the video player above to see France 24's coverage from Portugal.

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning