Drug use among to year-olds also declined, however the use of marijuana rose only slightly among that age group. On 31 May , Portugal became the sixth country in Europe and the eighth country in the world to legally recognize same-sex marriage on the national level. The law came into force on 5 June Administratively, Portugal is divided into municipalities Portuguese: Operationally, the municipality and civil parish, along with the national government, are the only legally identifiable local administrative units identified by the government of Portugal for example, cities, towns or villages have no standing in law, although may be used as catchment for the defining services.
For statistical purposes the Portuguese government also identifies NUTS , inter-municipal communities and informally, the district system, used until European integration and being phased-out by the national government.
Portugal Continental and the autonomous regions of Portugal Azores and Madeira. The 18 districts of mainland Portugal are: In it co-founded the Community of Portuguese Language Countries CPLP , which seeks to foster closer economic and cultural ties between the world's Lusophone nations. It has a friendship alliance and dual citizenship treaty with its former colony, Brazil. Portugal and England subsequently, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland share the world's oldest active military accord through their Anglo-Portuguese Alliance Treaty of Windsor , which was signed in The armed forces have three branches: Navy , Army and Air Force.
They serve primarily as a self-defense force whose mission is to protect the territorial integrity of the country and provide humanitarian assistance and security at home and abroad. As of [update] , the three branches numbered 39, active personnel including 7, women. Portuguese military expenditure in was billion, representing 2. Military conscription was abolished in The minimum age for voluntary recruitment is 18 years.
The Army 21, personnel comprises three brigades and other small units.
Top List: The 5 Absolute Best Portuguese Dating Sites & Apps
The Navy 10, personnel, of which 1, are marines , the world's oldest surviving naval force, has five frigates, seven corvettes, two submarines, and 28 patrol and auxiliary vessels. In addition to the three branches of the armed forces, there is the National Republican Guard , a security force subject to military law and organization gendarmerie comprising 25, personnel.
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This force is under the authority of both the Defense and the Interior Ministry. It has provided detachments for participation in international operations in Iraq and East Timor.
A guide to the Portugal dating scene
In the 20th century, Portugal engaged in two major conflicts: The Portuguese government is heavily indebted, and received a 78 billion euro bailout from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund in May After the bailout was announced, the Portuguese government headed by Pedro Passos Coelho managed to implement measures with the intention of improving the state's financial situation, including tax hikes, a freeze of civil service-related lower-wages and cuts of higher-wages by The Portuguese government also agreed to eliminate its golden share in Portugal Telecom which gave it veto power over vital decisions.
This allowed considerable slippage in state-managed public works and inflated top management and head officer bonuses and wages. Persistent and lasting recruitment policies boosted the number of redundant public servants. Risky credit , public debt creation, and European structural and cohesion funds were mismanaged across almost four decades. The case of BPN was particularly serious because of its size, market share, and the political implications — Portugal's then President, Cavaco Silva and some of his political allies, maintained personal and business relationships with the bank and its CEO, who was eventually charged and arrested for fraud and other crimes.
Since the Carnation Revolution of , which culminated in the end of one of Portugal's most notable phases of economic expansion that started in the s ,  a significant change has occurred in the nation's annual economic growth. Since the s, Portugal's public consumption -based economic development model has been slowly changing to a system that is focused on exports, private investment and the development of the high-tech sector.
Consequently, business services have overtaken more traditional industries such as textiles, clothing, footwear and cork Portugal is the world's leading cork producer ,  wood products and beverages. In the second decade of the 21st century, the Portuguese economy suffered its most severe recession since the s, resulting in the country having to be bailed out by the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund IMF.
In May , the country exited the bailout but reaffirmed its commitment to maintaining its reformist momentum. At the time of exiting the bailout, the economy had contracted by 0. The Global Competitiveness Report for —, published by the World Economic Forum , placed Portugal on the 36th position on the economic index. The Economist Intelligence Unit 's quality of life index placed Portugal as the country with the 19th-best quality of life in the world for , ahead of other economically and technologically advanced countries like France, Germany, the United Kingdom and South Korea, but 9 places behind its sole neighbor, Spain.
Major state-owned companies include: The PSI is Portugal's most selective and widely known stock index. The International Monetary Fund issued an update report on the economy of Portugal in late-June with a strong near-term outlook and an increase in investments and exports over previous years. Because of a surplus in , the country was no longer bound by the Excessive Deficit Procedure which had been implemented during an earlier financial crisis. The banking system was more stable, although there were still non-performing loans and corporate debt.
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The IMF recommended working on solving these problems for Portugal to be able to attract more private investment. Agriculture in Portugal is based on small to medium-sized family-owned dispersed units.
The country produces a wide variety of crops and livestock products, including: Traditionally a sea-power, Portugal has had a strong tradition in the Portuguese fishing sector and is one of the countries with the highest fish consumption per capita. Portuguese-processed fish products are exported through several companies, under a number of different brands and registered trademarks, such as Ramirez , the world's oldest active canned fish producer.
Portugal is a significant European minerals producer and is ranked among Europe's leading copper producers. The nation is also a notable producer of tin , tungsten and uranium. However, the country lacks the potential to conduct hydrocarbon exploration and aluminium , a limitation that has hindered the development of Portugal's mining and metallurgy sectors.
Although the country has vast iron and coal reserves — mainly in the north — after the revolution and the consequent economic globalization , low competitiveness forced a decrease in the extraction activity for these minerals. The Panasqueira and Neves-Corvo mines are among the most recognised Portuguese mines that are still in operation. The largest lithium mine in Europe is operated by Grupo Mota, Felmica, in the Guarda region, which is estimated to have reserves for 30 years of production.
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It has 5 more deposits in its possession. The company said the estimated mineral resources at the mine now stood at 14 million tonnes. Lithium prices have risen in expectation of growing demand for the mineral, which is used in batteries for electric vehicles and for storing electricity from the power grid. Europe consumes more than 20 per cent of the global supply of battery-grade lithium but currently has to import all its supplies of the mineral.
The so-called reverse circulation drilling program included 15 holes with around 2, metres of total drilling. The objective is to extend resources by integrating the data from drilling results with the expansion expected with the ongoing campaign. Wine has been one of the most noted Portuguese exports. The country is the seventh largest exporter of the product worldwide, by value. Industry is diversified, ranging from automotive Volkswagen Autoeuropa and Peugeot Citroen , aerospace Embraer and OGMA , electronics and textiles , to food , chemicals , cement and wood pulp.
A guide to the Portugal dating scene - Expat Guide to Portugal | Expatica
Volkswagen Group's AutoEuropa motor vehicle assembly plant in Palmela is among the largest foreign direct investment projects in Portugal. Modern non-traditional technology-based industries, such as aerospace , biotechnology and information technology , have been developed in several locations across the country. Following the turn of the 21st century, many major biotechnology and information technology industries have been founded, and are concentrated in the metropolitan areas of Lisbon , Porto , Braga , Coimbra and Aveiro.
The banking and insurance sectors performed well until the lates financial crisis , and this partly reflected a rapid deepening of the market in Portugal. While sensitive to various types of market and underwriting risks , it has been estimated that overall both the life and non-life sectors will be able to withstand a number of severe shocks, even though the impact on individual insurers varies widely.
Travel and tourism continue to be extremely important for Portugal. It has been necessary for the country to focus upon its niche attractions, such as health, nature and rural tourism, to stay ahead of its competitors. Portugal is among the top 20 most-visited countries in the world, receiving an average of 20,, foreign tourists each year.
Tourist hotspots in Portugal are: Lisbon attracts the sixteenth-most tourists among European cities  with seven million tourists occupying the city's hotels in Also, between 5—6 million religious pilgrims visit Fatima each year, where apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary to three shepherd children reportedly took place in The Portuguese government continues to promote and develop new tourist destinations, such as the Douro Valley , the island of Porto Santo , and Alentejo. The legend of the Rooster of Barcelos tells the story of a dead rooster's miraculous intervention in proving the innocence of a man who had been falsely accused and sentenced to death.
The Rooster of Barcelos is bought by thousands of tourists as a souvenir. A number of both national and multinational high-tech and industrial companies, are also responsible for research and development projects. One of the oldest learned societies of Portugal is the Sciences Academy of Lisbon , founded in Iberian bilateral state-supported research efforts include the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory and the Ibercivis distributed computing platform, which are joint research programmes of both Portugal and Spain.
Portugal is a member of several pan-European scientific organizations. With the emergence and growth of several science parks throughout the world that helped create many thousands of scientific, technological and knowledge-based businesses, Portugal started to develop several  science parks across the country. Companies locate in the Portuguese science parks to take advantage of a variety of services ranging from financial and legal advice through to marketing and technological support. The European Innovation Scoreboard , placed Portugal-based innovation in the 15th position, with an impressive increase in innovation expenditure and output.
By the earlys, Portugal's fast economic growth with increasing consumption and purchase of new automobiles set the priority for improvements in transportation. Again in the s, after joining the European Economic Community , the country built many new motorways.
Opened in , the first motorway which linked Lisbon to the National Stadium was an innovative project that made Portugal among one of the first countries in the world to establish a motorway this roadway eventually became the Lisbon-Cascais highway, or A5. Although a few other tracts were created around and , it was only after the beginning of the s that large-scale motorway construction was implemented. In , Brisa , the highway concessionaire, was founded to handle the management of many of the region's motorways.
On many highways, a toll needs to be paid, see Via Verde.
Vasco da Gama bridge is the longest bridge in Europe. Lisbon's geographical position makes it a stopover for many foreign airlines at several airports within the country. The primary flag-carrier is TAP Air Portugal , although many other domestic airlines provide services within and without the country. The government decided to build a new airport outside Lisbon, in Alcochete , to replace Lisbon Portela Airport , though this plan has been suspended due to austerity measures. One other important airport is the Aeroporto Internacional das Lajes on the island of Terceira in the Azores.
This airport serves as one of two international airports serving countries outside the European Union for all nine islands of the Azores. It also serves as a military air base for the United States Air Force. The base remains in use to the present day. A national railway system that extends throughout the country and into Spain, is supported and administered by Comboios de Portugal. The railway network is managed by Infraestruturas de Portugal while the transport of passengers and goods are the responsibility of Comboios de Portugal CP , both public companies.
The two largest metropolitan areas have subway systems: In Porto , a tram network , of which only a tourist line on the shores of the Douro remains, began construction on 12 September a first for the Iberian Peninsula. All major cities and towns have their own local urban transport network, as well as taxi services. Portugal has considerable resources of wind and river power, the two most cost-effective renewable energy sources. Since the turn of the 21st century, there has been a trend towards the development of a renewable resource industry and reduction of both consumption and use of fossil fuels.