Portugal is to reduce the number of public holidays from 14 to 10 as part of the recession-stricken country's adoption of austerity measures, according to local press reports.
According to the Diario de Noticias nnewspaper, the Portuguese Catholic Church said it had reached an "exceptional understanding" with the state over the suspension of two annual religious holidays.
A church spokesman said that from 2013 for five years the church had agreed to suspend All Saints Day on November 1 and Corpus Christi, which falls 60 days after Easter.
Two public holidays will also be suspended: October 5, which commemorates the formation of the Portuguese Republic in 1910; and December 1, which marks Portuguese independence from Spanish rule in 1640.
Due to a recession, Portugal has already cut public sector wages and raised taxes to reduce its budget deficit.
In 2011 Portugal received a $101bn bailout from the European Union, International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank.
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|William A. Cook|