Portugal Cancels Holidays After Vatican Talks

By: posted by Jovarie Downing
By: posted by Jovarie Downing

(CNN) -- Portugal is eliminating four holidays to try to boost its economy, the government announced -- but only after getting the agreement of the Vatican.

The economically struggling European country will stop giving workers a day off for Corpus Christi and All Saints' Day, starting next year, the government said.

It will also eliminate two civil holidays to be fair, the statement said Tuesday.

The center-right government thanked the Holy See and the Portuguese Bishops' Conference for their "constructive approach" to the negotiations.

Portugal and the Vatican will re-evaluate the agreement in five years, the government said.

Economy ministry spokesman Hugo Soares declined to say how cutting the holidays would boost the economy.

The opposition Socialists and Communists did not immediately respond to CNN requests for comment.

Portugal, a largely Catholic country, is struggling with recession and debt. Along with the economies of Greece, Italy, Ireland and Spain, its economy is a cause for concern across the 17 countries that use the euro as their currency.

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