Business, Economics and Jobs

Portugal cancels four public holidays – with the Vatican's approval


Demonstrators march in downtown Lisbon following a 24-hour general strike across Portugal on March 22, 2012.



Portugal has canceled four of the country's 14 public holidays in an effort to increase productivity, the BBC reported.

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Two religious festivals – Corpus Christi and All Saints' Day – and two other public holidays will be suspended for five years from January.

The center-right Portuguese government made the announcement in a statement, saying it had gotten the green light from the Vatican, CNN reported.

It is understood the agreement will be re-evaluated in five years.

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The government said the move was designed to boost the economy and help reduce Portugal's budget deficit, but CNN said there had been no indication on how cutting the holidays would do this.