Portuguese military members hold up red cards during a protest against the 2013 state budget draft in Lisbon November 10, 2012. (Reuters/Jose Manuel Ribeiro)
An estimated 10,000 active and retired military personnel rallied against the "unjustified cutbacks," calling for President Anibal Cavaco Silva to veto the controversial austerity budget adopted by the center-right government. The quiet march carried banners calling to respect the military and "national sovereignty."
"We are getting cut after cut and there is no light at the end of the tunnel," one soldier told AFP.
Some officers complained that their monthly wages have been cut as much as 25 per cent.
Besides focusing on the military problems, such as a decline in finances for maintenance and training, the march also targeted disagreements over cuts to the social sphere, as well as tax hikes.
military members gather in the central Restauradores Square (Independence Restoration Square) during a protest against the 2013 state budget draft in Lisbon November 10, 2012. (Reuters/Jose Manuel Ribeiro)
In July, the court ruled against a finance law and told the government to revise the measure, which stripped bonuses from civil servants, arguing that it violated constitutionally-guaranteed rights to equal treatment. Activists hope for a similar outcome with the austerity budget.