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Portugal

Yearbook 1997

Portugal. In November, Prime Minister Guterres reformed his social government. The reason was that one of his top colleagues, the Deputy Prime Minister, as well as Defense Minister António Vitorino, filed his resignation application after it was discovered that he had tried to avoid paying taxes. According to Countryaah, the revelation became extra sensitive as the government had the hunt for taxpayers as one of its stated goals. In connection with the transformation of the government, two non-socialist ministers were dismissed.

In the December municipal elections, socialists gained more than 39% of the vote and control of all regional capitals, including Lisbon, where João Soares, son of former president Mário Soares, was re-elected mayor. Of the other parties, the Social Democrats got 35%, the Communists 12% and the right-wing party Partido Popular just under 7%.

The economic situation in Portugal was generally regarded as very good, and membership in EMU would be possible.

1997 Portugal

1910 Republic

The monarchy was unable to create sufficient stability to be able to initiate renewed economic development. It was finally abolished in 1910 by an extensive alliance of liberal opposition forces, and thus the country embarked on its Republican stage. However, when it was overthrown by the monarchy, the broad alliance of liberals and Republicans began to show signs of weakness and internal discord, preventing it from designing a joint government program. Among the few points they could agree on was the implementation of an active policy towards the church, which had been a close ally of the monarchy. At the same time, it continued to hold important privileges and power in areas such as education.

During World War I, Portugal fought on the side of England. The result was merely a further deepening of the economic crisis and a corresponding increase in dissatisfaction. Political instability and economic stagnation were characteristic of the entire period and were the reason why a group of officers from the right wing in 1926 carried out a military coup.

1926-74 Estado Novo

They established an authoritarian and corporatist regime, which they called the "Estado Novo" (the new state), which, despite certain reforms, determined the country's development over the next 40-50 years. The political opposition was banned, its main leaders thrown into prison or sent into exile and the unions dissolved to be replaced by corporatist organizations - much like in fascist Italy.

The central figure of this period was the economist António de Oliveira Salazar. From various positions he governed the country's political and economic life. At the same time, the country managed to remain neutral in the major conflicts of the period, such as the Spanish Civil War and World War II, which might otherwise have jeopardized the fairly stable economic situation.

Salazar died in 1970, and the year before he had handed over power to successor Caetano. He proclaimed greater freedom, but although some of the most fascist features of the regime were mitigated, the suppression of political and cultural opposition continued until the military coup in 1974.

At that time, Portugal was financially dominated by large monopolies, which at 0.4% represented only a fraction of the number of companies in the country, yet accounted for 53% of the country's share capital. The economy was largely based on colonization and was predominantly governed by Western European investment - especially in the most profitable professions.

The monopolization of Portuguese industry after World War II led to significant changes in the class structure. While only half of the active population were employed in 1940, four-fifths were in 1974 and most were industrial workers.

Agriculture was also characterized by monopolization. 1% of landowners controlled half the land. Out of the million associated with agriculture, half were land workers without their own land. These were the leaders of the land occupations after the coup in 1974. Many of the occupations also took place on uncultivated land, which belonged to poorly exploited large estates. During the 1960-70s, agriculture was phased out, but still employed 28% of the workforce. The flow from the country went partly abroad. Over half a million Portuguese became cheap labor in Western Europe.

The Portuguese women suffered - and suffered - under the same oppression mechanisms as in other Mediterranean countries. After the 74 coup, some expansion of women's formal rights in society took place. Women are no longer required to have their husbands' permission to go to work, and they are now equated with men when it comes to parental rights over joint children in marriage. This change came into effect in 1978. Earlier, the Fascist Labor Act of 1933 had stated that women's wage work should be limited for reasons of morality, motherhood, family life and social welfare requirements. Against this background, the husband had the right to break agreements concluded by the wife and the husband had unrestricted authority over the children.

In the early 1970s, Portugal was increasingly marked by the exhausting war against the liberation movements in the African colonies of Angola, Mozambique and Guinea Bissau, and this was the main reason for the coup in 1974. While the old upper class of landlords and colonial trading houses wanted to defend the African empire to the last, so that the European-minded financial elite had greater opportunities and efficiency in a neo-colonialist relationship with the territories of Africa. This could be done in parallel with stronger integration into the Western economy.

 

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