Portugal was founded in 1143, being one of the oldest countries in Europe. Until the 5th October 1910, when the foundations of the Modern Portuguese Republic were laid, the Portuguese monarchy had developed a long history of discoveries and conquests in Africa, India and Brazil. In 1926, the parliamentary regime was replaced by a military dictatorship leading to the formation of the Estado Novo in 1933. Democracy was restored 41 years later, on the 25th April 1974, through a nearly bloodless coup, later nicknamed the Revolution of the Carnations, which are still a national symbol of freedom. In the following years, mostly as a consequence of the restoration of democracy, independence was granted to some of Portugal’s last colonies: São Tomé & Principe, Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and Cape Verde.
Portugal is a Parliamentary Republic. The President is directly elected by universal adult suffrage every 5 years. Executive power is exercised by the Council of Ministers. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Parliament. Since 1975 the party system is dominated by the Socialist Party (Partido Socialista) and Social Democratic Party (Partido Social Democrata). Other political parties include: Bloco de Esquerda, Partido Comunista Português, CDS/Partido Popular.
- Capital: Lisbon
- Official language: Portuguese
- Government: constitutional republic
- Area: 35,603 square miles/ 92,212 square kilometers
- Population: 10.7 million
- Currency: Euro
- Calling code: +351
- Major-Industries: Fishing, oil refinery, petrochemicals, cement, machinery, automotive and shipbuilding, electronics, plastics and ceramics, textile, leather industries, food and beverage industries.