Portugal. In the January presidential election, incumbent Head of State Aníbal Cavaco Silva was re-elected for a second term. He already won in the first round with 53% of the vote. According to Countryaah official site, the ruling Socialist Party’s candidate received only 20%, while three others shared the rest.
No clearing could be seen in the economic crisis, with a galloping budget deficit that Portugal has been in for years. In March, the Socialist minority government failed to get Parliament’s support for a fourth austerity package in less than a year. As a result, Prime Minister José Sócrates resigned and announced his election.
The already high borrowing costs were then pushed inexorably upwards and in April the interest rates for ten-year loans reached 9%, well above the 7% that has been perceived as a limit. Portugal became the third euro area country, after Greece and Ireland, forced to seek financial support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the euro area’s newly established crisis fund EFSF. In May, a loan package of EUR 78 billion was completed, of which two thirds from the EU and one third from the IMF. Portugal pledged to make cuts in health care and school, raise taxes, freeze government salaries and pensions and reduce unemployment benefits.
Although the bourgeois opposition parties also supported the unpopular austerity measures, they won the elections in June. The Socialists received less than 30% voter support, and Sócrates resigned directly from the party leader post. The Social Democratic PSD, which is the conservative name despite, became the largest with almost half of the votes and formed a coalition government with the Christian Democratic CDS-PP. The new Prime Minister was Pedro Passus Coelho. Turnout was at a record low of 58%.
The change of government did nothing to calm the market. Portugal’s credit rating continued downward and reached the rubbish status of several credit rating agencies. The popular dissatisfaction also continued. Several protests were held, and in November, hundreds of thousands of public servants took part in a 24-hour strike against the tough austerity measures.
Area: 92,226 km2 (world ranking: 109)
Population density: 112 per km2 (as of 2017, world ranking: 88)
Capital: Lisboa (Lisbon)
Official languages: Portuguese
Gross domestic product: 193.0 billion euros; Real growth: 2.9%
Gross national product (GNP, per resident and year): 19,820 US$
Currency: 1 euro (euro) = 100 cents
Zimmerstr. 56, 10117 Berlin
Telephone 030 590063500,
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Head of State: Marcelo Duarte Rebelo de Sousa, Head of Government: António Santos da Costa, Exterior: Augusto Santos Silva
National holiday: 10.6. (Anniversary of the death of the national poet Luiz de Camões in 1580)
18 districts, 2 autonomous regions: Azores and Madeira
State and form of government
Constitution of 1976
Parliament (Assembléia da República) with 230 members, election every 4 years
Direct election of the head of state every 5 (One re-election) Right to
vote from 18 years.
Population: Portuguese, last census 2011: 10,562,178 inh. Proportion of foreigners 2017: 3.9%
Cities (with population): Funchal as of 2008: 98,583 inh.
Religions: 81% Catholics; 15% without religion or k. A.; Protestant, Muslim and Jewish minorities (as of 2006)
Languages: Portuguese; Minority languages: Mirandés, Romany
Workers by economic sector: agriculture. 7%, industry 25%, business 68% (2017)
Unemployment (in% of all labor force): 2017: 9.0%
Inflation rate (in%): 2017: 1.6%
Foreign trade: import: 69.0 billion euros (2017); Export: 55.1 billion euros (2017)