Following its heyday as a world 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 in 1822 of Brazil as a colony. 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.
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
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
chief of state: President Anibal CAVACO SILVA (since 9 March 2006) head of government: Prime Minister Jose SOCRATES Carvalho Pinto de Sousa (since 12 March 2005) cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister 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 22 January 2006 (next to be held in January 2011); following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of a majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the president election results: Anibal CAVACO SILVA elected president; percent of vote - Anibal CAVACO SILVA 50.6%, Manuel ALEGRE 20.7%, Mario Alberto Nobre Lopes SOARES 14.3%, Jeronimo DE SOUSA 8.5%, Franciso LOUCA 5.3%
unicameral Assembly of the Republic or Assembleia da Republica (230 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms) elections: last held 20 February 2005 (next to be held in Fall 2009) election results: percent of vote by party - PS 45.1%, PSD 28.7%, CDU 7.6%, PP 7.3%, BE 6.4%, other 4.9%; seats by party - PS 121, PSD 75, CDU 14, PP 12, BE 8
Democratic and Social Center/Popular Party or CDS/PP [Paulo PORTAS]; Green Ecologist Party or PEV [leadership commission elected by members]; Portuguese Communist Party or PCP [Jeronimo DE SOUSA]; Portuguese Socialist Party or PS [Jose SOCRATES Carvalho Pinto de Sousa]; Social Democratic Party or PSD [Luis Filipe MENEZES]; The Left Bloc or BE [Franciso Anacleto LOUCA]; Unitarian Democratic Coalition or CDU [Jeronimo DE SOUSA] (includes PEV and PCP)
chief of mission: Ambassador Joao DE VALLERA chancery: 2012 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036 telephone:  (202) 350-5400 FAX:  (202) 462-3726 consulate(s) general: Boston, New York, Newark (New Jersey), San Francisco consulate(s): New Bedford (Massachusetts), Providence (Rhode Island)
Portugal has become a diversified and increasingly service-based economy since joining the European Community in 1986. Over the past two decades, successive governments have privatized many state-controlled firms and liberalized key areas of the economy, including the financial and telecommunications sectors. The country qualified for the European Monetary Union (EMU) in 1998 and began circulating the euro on 1 January 2002 along with 11 other EU member economies. Economic growth had been above the EU average for much of the 1990s, but fell back in 2001-07. GDP per capita stands at roughly two-thirds of the EU-27 average. A poor educational system, in particular, has been an obstacle to greater productivity and growth. Portugal has been increasingly overshadowed by lower-cost producers in Central Europe and Asia as a target for foreign direct investment. The budget deficit surged to an all-time high of 6% of GDP in 2005, but the government estimates it at 3% in 2007 - a year ahead of Portugal's targeted schedule - thanks partly to deficit-cutting efforts. Nonetheless, the government faces tough choices in its attempts to boost Portugal's economic competitiveness while keeping the budget deficit within the eurozone's 3%-of-GDP ceiling.
textiles and footwear; wood pulp, paper, and cork; metals and metalworking; oil refining; chemicals; fish canning; rubber and plastic products; ceramics; electronics and communications equipment; rail transportation equipment; aerospace equipment; ship construction and refurbishment; wine; tourism
euro (EUR) note: on 1 January 1999, the European Monetary Union introduced the euro as a common currency to be used by financial institutions of member countries; on 1 January 2002, the euro became the sole currency for everyday transactions within the member countries
general assessment: Portugal's telephone system has achieved 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 US; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (2 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean), NA Eutelsat; tropospheric scatter to Azores; note - an earth station for Inmarsat (Atlantic Ocean region) is planned (1998)
total: 117 ships (1000 GRT or over) 1,022,783 GRT/1,287,951 DWT by type: bulk carrier 10, cargo 37, carrier 1, chemical tanker 16, container 6, liquefied gas 9, passenger 10, passenger/cargo 10, petroleum tanker 6, roll on/roll off 1, specialized tanker 1, vehicle carrier 10 foreign-owned: 80 (Belgium 9, Denmark 3, Germany 22, Greece 4, Italy 11, Japan 10, Malta 1, Mexico 1, Netherlands 1, Norway 3, Spain 10, Sweden 2, Switzerland 2, US 1) registered in other countries: 15 (Cyprus 1, Hong Kong 1, Malta 3, Panama 9, St Vincent and The Grenadines 1) (2007)
18 years of age for voluntary military service; compulsory military service ended in 2004; women serve in the armed forces, on naval ships since 1993, but are prohibited from serving in some combatant specialties (2005)
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