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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. In January 2011, Portugal assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2011-12 term.


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Country name
Conventional long form Portuguese Republic
Conventional short form Portugal
Local long form Republica Portuguesa
Local short form Portugal

Government type
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

Administrative divisions
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)

National holiday
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
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

Legal system
Civil law system; Constitutional Tribunal review of legislative acts

International law organization participation
Accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
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)
Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister
There is also a Council of State that acts as a consultative body to the president
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%

Legislative branch
Unicameral Assembly of the Republic or Assembleia da Republica (230 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
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 7%, BE 5%; seats by party - PPD/PSD 108, PS 74, CDS/PP 24, PCP/PEV 16, BE 8

Judicial branch
Constitutional Court (Tribunal Constitucional) consists of 13 judges (10 appointed by the Assembly and 3 are coopted by the 10 judges) for six-year terms; Supreme Court (Supremo Tribunal de Justica); Audit Court (auditoria do Tribunal); Supreme Administrative Court (Supremo Tribunal Administrativo); all judges are appointed for life by the Conselho Superior da Magistratura

Political parties and leaders
Democratic and Social Center/Popular Party or CDS/PP [Paulo PORTAS]; Social Democratic Party or PSD [Pedro Manuel PASSOS COELHO]; Socialist Party or PS [Jose SEGURO]; The Left Bloc or BE [Francisco LOUCA]; Unitarian Democratic Coalition or CDU [Jeronimo DE SOUSA] (includes Portuguese Communist Party or PCP and Ecologist Party ("The Greens") or PEV)

Political pressure groups and leaders
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

International organization participation
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, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAIA (observer), MIGA, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club (associate), PCA, Schengen Convention, SELEC (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, Union Latina, UNMIT, UNSC (temporary), UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the us
Chief of mission
Ambassador Nuno Filipe Alves Salvador e BRITO
2012 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
Telephone [1] (202) 332-3007
FAX [1] (202) 462-3726
Consulate(s) general
Boston, New York, Newark (New Jersey), San Francisco
New Bedford (Massachusetts), Providence (Rhode Island)

Diplomatic representation from the us
Chief of mission Ambassador Allan J. KATZ
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)

Flag description
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

National symbol(s)
Armillary sphere (a spherical astrolabe modeling objects in the sky)

National anthem
"A Portugesa" (The Song of the Portuguese)
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


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Portugal (Lisbon):
Country Flag
Country Locator

GPS points from Portugal (Lisbon)

square Cerro De Malhinverde Distrito De Beja

square Monte Da Enchacana Distrito De Castelo Branco

square Madalena Distrito Do Porto

square Fonte Negrinha Distrito De Evora

square Ribeira Do Pinheiro Regiao Autonoma Dos Acores

square Povoa Da Atalaia Distrito De Castelo Branco

square Lordelo Distrito De Braga

square Gondramaz Distrito De Coimbra

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