Europe :: Portugal

Introduction ::Portugal

    Following its heyday as a global maritime power during the 15th and 16th centuries, Portugal lost much of its wealth and status with the destruction of Lisbon in a 1755 earthquake, occupation during the Napoleonic Wars, and the independence of its wealthiest colony of Brazil in 1822. A 1910 revolution deposed the monarchy; for most of the next six decades, repressive governments ran the country. In 1974, a left-wing military coup installed broad democratic reforms. The following year, Portugal granted independence to all of its African colonies. Portugal is a founding member of NATO and entered the EC (now the EU) in 1986.

Geography ::Portugal

    Southwestern Europe, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Spain
    39 30 N, 8 00 W
    total: 92,090 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 111
    land: 91,470 sq km
    water: 620 sq km
    note: includes Azores and Madeira Islands
    slightly smaller than Indiana
    total: 1,214 km
    border countries: Spain 1,214 km
    1,793 km
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    contiguous zone: 24 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation
    maritime temperate; cool and rainy in north, warmer and drier in south
    mountainous north of the Tagus River, rolling plains in south
    lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Ponta do Pico (Pico or Pico Alto) on Ilha do Pico in the Azores 2,351 m
    fish, forests (cork), iron ore, copper, zinc, tin, tungsten, silver, gold, uranium, marble, clay, gypsum, salt, arable land, hydropower
    arable land: 11.88%
    permanent crops: 7.71%
    other: 80.41% (2011)
    5,837 sq km (2007)
    68.7 cu km (2011)
    total: 8.46 cu km/yr (12%/18%/69%)
    per capita: 812 cu m/yr (2005)
    Azores subject to severe earthquakes
    volcanism: limited volcanic activity in the Azores Islands; Fayal or Faial (elev. 1,043 m) last erupted in 1958; most volcanoes have not erupted in centuries; historically active volcanoes include Agua de Pau, Furnas, Pico, Picos Volcanic System, San Jorge, Sete Cidades, and Terceira
    soil erosion; air pollution caused by industrial and vehicle emissions; water pollution, especially in coastal areas
    party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Environmental Modification
    Azores and Madeira Islands occupy strategic locations along western sea approaches to Strait of Gibraltar

People and Society ::Portugal

Government ::Portugal

    conventional long form: Portuguese Republic
    conventional short form: Portugal
    local long form: Republica Portuguesa
    local short form: Portugal
    republic; parliamentary democracy
    name: Lisbon
    geographic coordinates: 38 43 N, 9 08 W
    time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
    18 districts (distritos, singular - distrito) and 2 autonomous regions* (regioes autonomas, singular - regiao autonoma); Aveiro, Acores (Azores)*, Beja, Braga, Braganca, Castelo Branco, Coimbra, Evora, Faro, Guarda, Leiria, Lisboa (Lisbon), Madeira*, Portalegre, Porto, Santarem, Setubal, Viana do Castelo, Vila Real, Viseu
    1143 (Kingdom of Portugal recognized); 5 October 1910 (republic proclaimed)
    Portugal Day (Dia de Portugal), 10 June (1580); note - also called Camoes Day, the day that revered national poet Luis de Camoes (1524-80) died
    adopted 2 April 1976; subsequently revised
    note: the revisions placed the military under strict civilian control, trimmed the powers of the president, and laid the groundwork for a stable, pluralistic liberal democracy; they allowed for the privatization of nationalized firms and government-owned communications media
    civil law system; Constitutional Tribunal review of legislative acts
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President Anibal CAVACO SILVA (since 9 March 2006)
    head of government: Prime Minister Pedro Manuel Mamede PASSOS COELHO (since 21 June 2011)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister
    (For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
    note: there is also a Council of State that acts as a consultative body to the president
    elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 23 January 2011 (next to be held in January 2016); following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of a majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the president
    election results: Anibal CAVACO SILVA reelected president; percent of vote - Anibal CAVACO SILVA 53%, Manuel ALEGRE 19.8%, Fernando NOBRE 14.1%, Francisco LOPES 7.1%, Manuel COELHO 4.5%, Defensor MOURA 1.6%
    unicameral Assembly of the Republic or Assembleia da Republica (230 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
    elections: last held on 5 June 2011 (next to be held in 2015)
    election results: percent of vote by party - PPD/PSD 38%, PS 28%, CDS/PP 11%, PCP/PEV (see CDU) 7%, BE 5%, other 11%; seats by party - PPD/PSD 108, PS 74, CDS/PP 24, PCP/PEV (see CDU) 16, BE 8
    highest court(s): Supreme Court or Supremo Tribunal de Justica (consists of 12 justices); Constitutional Court or Tribunal Constitucional (consists of 13 judges)
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court justices nominated by the president and appointed by the Assembly of the Republic; judges appointed for life; Constitutional Court judges - 10 elected by the Assembly and 3 elected by the other Constitutional Court judges; judges elected for 6-year non-renewable terms
    subordinate courts: Supreme Administrative Court (Supremo Tribunal Administrativo); Audit Court (Auditoria do Tribunal); appellate, district, and municipal courts
    Democratic and Social Center/Popular Party or CDS/PP [Paulo PORTAS]
    Social Democratic Party or PPD/PSD [Pedro PASSOS COELHO]
    Socialist Party or PS [Maria de BELEM ROSEIRA]
    The Left Bloc or BE [Pedro Filipe SOARES]
    Unitarian Democratic Coalition or CDU [Jeronimo DE SOUSA] (includes Portuguese Communist Party or PCP and Ecologist Party ("The Greens") or PEV)
    Armed Forces Officers' Association (AOFA) [Colonel Pereira CRACEL]
    the Desperate Generation (youth movement protesting against low wages, precarious labor conditions, and unemployment)
    the General Workers Union or General Confederation of Portuguese Workers (UGT) [Joao PROENCA]
    Portuguese National Workers' Conference (CGTP) [Armenio CARLOS]
    TugaLeaks (a website that has become a mouthpiece for publicizing diverse protest action)
    other: the media; labor unions
    ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Australia Group, BIS, CD, CE, CERN, CPLP, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAIA (observer), MIGA, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club (associate), PCA, Schengen Convention, SELEC (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNMIT, UNSC (temporary), UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
    chief of mission: Ambassador Nuno Filipe Alves Salvador e BRITO
    chancery: 2012 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
    telephone: [1] (202) 332-3007
    FAX: [1] (202) 223-3926
    consulate(s) general: Boston, New York, Newark (NJ), San Francisco
    consulate(s): New Bedford (MA), Providence (RI)
    chief of mission: Ambassador Allan J. KATZ
    embassy: Avenida das Forcas Armadas, 1600-081 Lisbon
    mailing address: Apartado 43033, 1601-301 Lisboa; PSC 83, APO AE 09726
    telephone: [351] (21) 727-3300
    FAX: [351] (21) 726-9109
    consulate(s): Ponta Delgada (Azores)
    two vertical bands of green (hoist side, two-fifths) and red (three-fifths) with the national coat of arms (armillary sphere and Portuguese shield) centered on the dividing line; explanations for the color meanings are ambiguous, but a popular interpretation has green symbolizing hope and red the blood of those defending the nation
    armillary sphere (a spherical astrolabe modeling objects in the sky)
    name: "A Portugesa" (The Song of the Portuguese)

    lyrics/music: Henrique LOPES DE MENDOCA/Alfredo KEIL
    note: adopted 1910; "A Portuguesa" was originally written to protest the Portuguese monarchy's acquiescence to the 1890 British ultimatum forcing Portugal to give up areas of Africa; the lyrics refer to the "insult" that resulted from the event

Economy ::Portugal

    Portugal has become a diversified and increasingly service-based economy since joining the European Community - the EU's predecessor - in 1986. Over the following two decades, successive governments privatized many state-controlled firms and liberalized key areas of the economy, including the financial and telecommunications sectors. The country qualified for the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) in 1998 and began circulating the euro on 1 January 2002 along with 11 other EU members. The economy grew by more than the EU average for much of the 1990s, but the rate of growth slowed in 2001-08. The economy contracted 2.5% in 2009, before growing 1.4% in 2010, but GDP fell again in 2011 and 2012, as the government began implementing spending cuts and tax increases to comply with conditions of an EU-IMF financial rescue package, agreed to in May 2011. GDP per capita stands at roughly two-thirds of the EU-27 average. Portugal also has been increasingly overshadowed by lower-cost producers in Central Europe and Asia as a destination for foreign direct investment, in part because its rigid labor market hindered greater productivity and growth. However, the government of Pedro PASSOS COELHO has enacted several measures to introduce more flexibility into the labor market, and, this, along with steps to reduce high levels of public debt, could make Portugal more attractive to foreign investors. The government reduced the budget deficit from 10.1% of GDP in 2009 to 4.5% in 2011, an achievement made possible only by the extraordinary revenues obtained from the one-time transfer of bank pension funds to the social security system. The budget deficit worsened in 2012 as a sharp reduction in domestic consumption took a bigger bite out of value-added tax revenues while rising unemployment benefits increased expenditures more than anticipated. Poor growth prospects over the next year have reinforced investors' concerns about the government's ability to achieve its budget deficit targets and regain full access to bond market financing when the EU-IMF financing program expires in 2013.
    $250.6 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 52
    $258.8 billion (2011 est.)
    $262.9 billion (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    $212.7 billion (2012 est.)
    -3.2% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 213
    -1.6% (2011 est.)
    1.9% (2010 est.)
    $23,800 (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 65
    $24,500 (2011 est.)
    $24,700 (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    14.3% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    10.7% of GDP (2011 est.)
    9.6% of GDP (2010 est.)
    household consumption: 66.3%
    government consumption: 18.3%
    investment in fixed capital: 15.8%
    investment in inventories: 0.1%
    exports of goods and services: 38.7%
    imports of goods and services: -39.2%
    (2012 est.)
    agriculture: 2.4%
    industry: 21.3%
    services: 76.3% (2012 est.)
    grain, potatoes, tomatoes, olives, grapes; sheep, cattle, goats, pigs, poultry, dairy products; fish
    textiles, clothing, footwear, wood and cork, paper, chemicals, auto-parts manufacturing, base metals, porcelain and ceramics, glassware, technology, telecommunications; dairy products, wine and other foods; ship construction and refurbishment; tourism
    -9% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 168
    5.495 million (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 70
    agriculture: 11.7%
    industry: 28.5%
    services: 59.8% (2009 est.)
    15.7% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 149
    12.7% (2011 est.)
    18% (2006)
    lowest 10%: 3.1%
    highest 10%: 28.4% (1995 est.)
    38.5 (2007)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    35.6 (1995)
    revenues: $87.16 billion
    expenditures: $100.8 billion (2012 est.)
    41% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 39
    -6.4% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 184
    123.6% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 9
    108.1% of GDP (2011 est.)
    note: data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions
    calendar year
    2.8% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 86
    3.7% (2011 est.)
    1.5% (31 December 2012)
    country comparison to the world: 124
    1.75% (31 December 2010)
    note: this is the European Central Bank's rate on the marginal lending facility, which offers overnight credit to banks in the euro area
    6.37% (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 148
    5.71% (31 December 2011 est.)
    $88.92 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 38
    $89.42 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    note: see entry for the European Union for money supply in the euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 17 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money circulating within their own borders
    $298.3 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 31
    $322.7 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $433.6 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 27
    $451.3 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $61.69 billion (31 December 2011)
    country comparison to the world: 46
    $82 billion (31 December 2010)
    $98.65 billion (31 December 2009)
    -$6 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 167
    -$15.44 billion (2011 est.)
    $58.24 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 56
    $60.01 billion (2011 est.)
    agricultural products, food products, wine, oil products, chemical products, plastics and rubber, hides, leather, wood and cork, wood pulp and paper, textile materials, clothing, footwear, machinery and tools, base metals
    Spain 22.7%, Germany 12.4%, France 11.9%, Angola 6.5%, UK 5.3%, Netherlands 4.2% (2012)
    $69.48 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 43
    $79.67 billion (2011 est.)
    agricultural products, chemical products, vehicles and other transport material, optical and precision instruments, computer accessories and parts, semi-conductors and related devices, oil products, base metals, food products, textile materials
    Spain 32%, Germany 11.5%, France 6.6%, Italy 5.3%, Netherlands 4.9% (2012)
    $22.66 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 57
    $21.34 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $508.3 billion (31 December 2012)
    country comparison to the world: 26
    $482.2 billion (31 December 2011)
    $131 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 35
    $122.1 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $64.25 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 33
    $64.25 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    euros (EUR) per US dollar -
    0.7778 (2012 est.)
    0.7185 (2011 est.)
    0.755 (2010 est.)
    0.7198 (2009 est.)
    0.6827 (2008 est.)

Energy ::Portugal

Communications ::Portugal

    4.53 million (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 36
    12.335 million (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 64
    general assessment: Portugal's telephone system has a state-of-the-art network with broadband, high-speed capabilities
    domestic: integrated network of coaxial cables, open-wire, microwave radio relay, and domestic satellite earth stations
    international: country code - 351; a combination of submarine cables provide connectivity to Europe, North and East Africa, South Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and the US; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (2 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean), NA Eutelsat; tropospheric scatter to Azores (2010)
    Radio e Televisao de Portugal (RTP),the publicly-owned TV broadcaster, operates 2 domestic channels and external service channels to Africa; overall, roughly 40 domestic TV stations; viewers have widespread access to international broadcasters with more than half of all households connected to multi-channel cable or satellite TV systems; publicly owned radio operates 3 national networks and provides regional and external services; several privately owned national radio stations and some 300 regional and local commercial radio stations (2008)
    3.748 million (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 28
    5.168 million (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 45

Transportation ::Portugal

    64 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    total: 43
    over 3,047 m: 5
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 8
    914 to 1,523 m: 15
    under 914 m: 8 (2013)
    total: 21
    914 to 1,523 m: 1
    under 914 m:
    20 (2013)
    gas 1,344 km; oil 11 km; refined products 188 km (2013)
    total: 3,319 km
    country comparison to the world: 53
    broad gauge: 2,700 km 1.668-m gauge (1,436 km electrified)
    narrow gauge: 192 km 1.000-m gauge; 427 km 0.760-m gauge (2008)
    total: 82,900 km
    country comparison to the world: 56
    paved: 71,294 km (includes 2,613 km of expressways)
    unpaved: 11,606 km (2008)
    210 km (on Douro River from Porto) (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 96
    total: 109
    country comparison to the world: 50
    by type: bulk carrier 8, cargo 35, carrier 1, chemical tanker 21, container 7, liquefied gas 6, passenger 13, passenger/cargo 5, petroleum tanker 3, roll on/roll off 1, vehicle carrier 9
    foreign-owned: 81 (Belgium 8, Colombia 1, Denmark 4, Germany 14, Greece 2, Italy 12, Japan 9, Mexico 1, Norway 2, Spain 18, Sweden 3, Switzerland 3, US 4)
    registered in other countries: 15 (Cyprus 2, Malta 3, Panama 10) (2010)
    Leixoes, Lisbon, Setubal, Sines

Military ::Portugal

Transnational Issues ::Portugal

    Portugal does not recognize Spanish sovereignty over the territory of Olivenza based on a difference of interpretation of the 1815 Congress of Vienna and the 1801 Treaty of Badajoz
    stateless persons: 553 (2012)
    seizing record amounts of Latin American cocaine destined for Europe; a European gateway for Southwest Asian heroin; transshipment point for hashish from North Africa to Europe; consumer of Southwest Asian heroin