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Portuguese postal workers protest privatization

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November 29, 2013 06:05 AM EST | AP


LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Striking Portuguese postal workers have scuffled with police during a protest against the national mail company's privatization.

Some pickets tried to stop mail trucks leaving a major Lisbon distribution center late Thursday, and police moved in to clear the way. Some trade union leaders and lawmakers were caught up in the commotion, prompting an emergency debate Friday in Parliament after the Communist Party accused police of using excessive force.

Portugal is privatizing companies to reduce its debt as part of a 78 billion-euro ($106 billion) bailout it received in 2011.

The government hopes to raise more than 400 million euros from the sale of a 70 percent stake in postal service CTT - Correios de Portugal SA. Results of the sale are due to be announced next week.