MOSCOW, December 18 (Sputnik) — Over two-thirds of train services in Portugal were canceled on Thursday due to the 24-hour strike over the reforms to the national transport system, local media reported.
The merger would reduce running costs and make rail services more efficient, according to the Infraestructuras de Portugal, the commission responsible for the merger of the companies.
However, protesters argue that the merger would lead to the deterioration of public services and massive job cuts.
On the same day, the Portuguese authorities issued an executive order aiming to prevent a similar strike that was due to be staged by airline workers on December 27-30, according to El Universal Spanish-language newspaper.
Economy Minister Antonio Pires de Lima justified the cancellation of the protests, saying that the strike during the Christmas holidays would cause huge losses to the country's tourism industry, the newspaper reported.
A similar strike hit the capital Lisbon on Tuesday. Portuguese subway workers went on strike over the government's plans to privatize the underground company Metropolitano de Lisboa. The demonstrators were protesting against poorer working conditions, job cuts and the reduction in overtime payments.