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Portugal's largest labour union is considering calling a general strike as it steps up protests against painful austerity measures that are expected to deepen under an EU/IMF bailout, its leader said on Thursday.
"A general strike is an instrument that is on the agenda," Manuel Carvalho da Silva, leader of the 725,000-strong General Confederation of Portuguese Workers (CGTP), told Reuters.
"This is not the time to be silent. It has to be the time for protest, action and responses," he said.
Protests have mounted in Portugal during the sovereign debt crisis, but remained peaceful so far. Several hundred thousand marched in two rallies in Lisbon last month and public transport workers have staged intermittent strikes for weeks.