Portuguese police chief quits after defiant protest by officers against austerity

One of Portugal's most senior policemen has resigned after several thousand off-duty officers protesting against austerity measures broke through a police cordon protecting the country's Parliament.

Interior Minister Miguel Macedo, who oversees police forces, said in a statement Friday he had accepted the resignation of Superintendent Paulo Gomes. Gomes led one of the country's three police forces.

Demonstrating police officers defied orders from their on-duty colleagues to stay back from the parliament building late Thursday. The protesters pushed through a line of riot police and charged up steps to the main doors before dispersing.

Police associations are demanding that their members be spared from pay and pension cuts being introduced in return for a 78 billion euro ($105 billion) international bailout granted to Portugal in 2011.