Thousands have gathered outside the Portuguese Presidential Palace in Lisbon, to protest recently proposed tax hikes. The protests increase pressure on the government as it strives to meet the tough fiscal goals imposed under an EU/IMF bailout. Politicians, employers and unions have ALL called for a rethink of the proposed increase in the social security tax. The government said on Sept the 7th it would raise social security contributions for all workers to 18 percent from 11 percent in 2013. The President is likely to call for a compromise or seek alternative measures to meet the fiscal goals. The government has already said it will continue to discuss the plan with unions and employers next week. Meanwhile, Portugal’s Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho, promised on Friday to listen to the nation. He suggests he could soften the planned tax hikes, which have sparked the worst backlash to austerity, since the country received a bailout last year.