According to the Portuguese news agency Lusa around 1,000 people were involved in the start of the protest with this number then swelling to around 5,000 people making it the largest protest in living memory in Faro and the Algarve.
People in the protest held banners calling for the resignation of the government and proclaiming the “we want work” in the protest that ended in the Manuel Bivar Gardens in the capital of the Algarve.
Some of the people who took part in the protest spoke of how they had never been involved in a demonstration before but that their economic situation had become so bad that they needed to take to the streets to call for change and an end to “collective misery”.
One woman said that she was joining the protest for her family because neither of her two sons have work and it is having a huge impact on their family and her grandchildren.
Another woman told Lusa: “I have been looking for a job for more than a year and still I have nothing. Taxes have increased, the cost of living has increased and the little money in unemployment benefit that I get is not even enough to pay for food.”
The protest was one of many all held on the same day all across Portugal under the slogan “Que se lixe a Troika”.
In total 40 cities in Portugal saw demonstrations of various sizes all calling to an end to austerity measures that have left many people in the country on or below the poverty line with many being unable to find work or being able to survive with government support.
The demonstrations were organised to coincide with the presence of the Troika delegation in Lisbon and organisers hope that the sight of so many people being against the austerity measures will force the government to rethink their policy of austerity in Portugal.
The Algarve has one of the highest levels of unemployment in all of Portugal while the cost of living in the region is one of the highest.
The protests against the government were peaceful in Faro and union leaders who joined the demonstrations said they were impressed with the turnout.
With so many people taking to the streets the government will now be forced to take notice of public opinion.