Starting next year in 2013, the Portuguese government will be removing four holidays from the calendar for roughly five years in order to add slightly more fuel to the economic fire that Portugal desperately needs. Two of the holidays are religious while the other two are public holidays. The religious holidays to be suspended as holidays will be Corpus Christi and All Saints Day while the public holidays that will be suspended are Independence Day (commemorating the day Portugal won independence from neighboring Spain’s control) and the day of the formation of the Republic of Portugal.
Portugal, traditionally a Catholic country, reportedly had talks with the Vatican and the Portuguese Catholic Church over the matter of suspending the religious holidays.
The Church apparently agreed to the government’s proposal of canceling the holidays. The two entities will again meet in five years to reevaluate the need for the suspension of the two religious holidays.
In all, Portugal will save 20 days over the next five years, 4 per each, which may or may not help out the country’s economy.
The former holidays, now working days, are as follows:
November 1 (All Saints Day)
October 5 (Commemoration of the Republic of Portugal)
December 1 (Independence)
Portugal has been faring badly in today’s world with recession and a tremendous amount of debt plaguing the country putting it up on the shelf next to turmoil-ridden Greece, Italy, Ireland and neighboring Spain.
Austerity measures, budget cuts and tax hikes have already been implemented in Portugal as part of a 78 billion euro bailout deal made with the European Union, the European Central Bank & the IMF (International Monetary Fund) last year.
The measures implemented by the government have of course frustrated and provoked the good people of Portugal as similar measures have in numerous other parts of Europe and the world as well.
Protests and demonstrations have been rocking Portugal and its Spanish neighbor for quite some time now with no end in sight.