Parliament: MPs in votes marathon before holidays

The Portuguese Parliament is to vote on legislative changes to the civil service and increase MPs’ working week to 40 hours on Monday in a voting dash at the last sitting until September.

The second session of the legislature ends on Tuesday with the (guaranteed) approval of a confidence vote for the PSD/CDS-PP coalition government after a year with four non-confidence votes and protests inside and outside the parliament building.

Some of the more controversial laws have included a temporary plan to pay Christmas and holiday bonuses in installments and another in full (following the Constitutional Court’s decision to throw out some articles in the government’s 2013 budget) and the reorganisation of parish councils, which slashed their number significantly.

A new law to reduce the number of public sector workers is also to be voted on Monday which puts excess workers in training for a year and then, if they still cannot be found a job in the state sector, they can stay on with no pay or resign with unemployment benefit.

The votes will take place with unions protesting outside the doors against what they consider are unconstitutional changes to workers’ rights.

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