Transport strikes in Portugal herald new wave of protests as austerity plans bring outcry

Transport strikes in Portugal have brought misery for thousands of commuters, and trade unions are vowing to step up their fight against the government's latest batch of austerity measures.

The center-right government plans steep increases in income taxes next year to meet the financial targets demanded in return for last year's €78 billion ($100 billion) bailout.

They come after pay cuts and tax hikes this year have fueled growing discontent at a time of deep recession and record unemployment of 15.9 percent.

Rail services were at a virtual standstill Thursday due to a strike by engineers. The Lisbon subway also closed during the morning rush-hour due to a walkout, while suburban bus services were also disrupted.

The General Confederation of Portuguese Workers plans a general strike against austerity Nov. 14.