Best Bitcoin Card for Portugal
Republic in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula on the Atlantic Ocean, 92 289 km² (including “Anliegende Inseln” of the Azores and Madeira), 10.6 million almost exclusively Catholic inhabitants, capital Lisbon, official language Portuguese.
Portugal (official: República Portuguesa) is the westernmost country on the European continent and occupies about 15% of the Iberian Peninsula with an area of 92 289 km². It borders Spain to the east (common border 1 215 km) and the Atlantic Ocean to the west and south. The maximum north-south extension of the country is 560 km as the crow flies, from the Atlantic to the Spanish border it is 220 km at its widest point.
The country is divided into a mountainous north and a hilly and flatter southern part by the Serra da Estrela, the highest mountain range in Portugal (up to 1 991 m). The north-eastern plateau, which lies between 400 m and 1 000 m above sea level, is a continuation of the Spanish Meseta and is divided by river valleys (e.g. the Douro) and deep gorges. To the west, the land descends to a wide and fertile coastal plain.
South of the Serra da Estrela lies the valley of the Tejo, which originates in Spain and flows into the sea at Portugal’s capital Lisbon. With a total of just over 1,000 km, the Tagus is the longest river on the Iberian Peninsula. On both sides of the Tejo lies one of Portugal’s most fertile cultivation areas, the lowlands of the Ribatejo. The southern inland of Portugal is occupied by the landscape of the Alentejo, which lies below 400 m above sea level. In the southernmost part of the country, the flat, hilly countryside merges with the mountain landscape of the Algarve, which stretches from the Spanish border to the south-westernmost point of Portugal and the whole of Europe, the Cabo de Sao Vicente. The capital Lisbon is at the same time the biggest city of Portugal with approximately 565 000 inhabitants (1.89 million in the greater area). Further cities are Porto with approximately 265 000 inhabitants and Vila Nova de Gaia (approximately 250 000 inhabitants).
The archipelago of the Azores, which lies about 1 600 km west of the Atlantic Ocean, and the island of Madeira north of the Canary Islands also belong to Portugal, they are autonomous regions.
Portugal is a parliamentary democracy. The current constitution dates from 1976. The head of state is the president (since March 2006 Anibal Cavaco Silva). He is commander-in-chief of the armed forces and is directly elected by the people for five years (one-off re-election possible). The head of government is the Prime Minister (since June 2011 Pedro Passos Coelho). He has the right to nominate the ministers, who are then appointed by the president.
The Portuguese Parliament (Assambleia da Republica) has 230 seats and its members are elected for four years. The most important parties are the Socialists (PS) and the Social Democrats (PSD). Citizens aged 18 and over are eligible to vote. There is also a State Council with an advisory function for the President.
The Portuguese mainland is divided into 18 districts (Distritos), which in turn are divided into districts (Concelhos). Madeira and the Azores are autonomous regions that have had limited political and economic sovereignty since 1976.
Portugal as a business location has come under pressure in the last ten years due to progressive globalization and increasing international competition. The inadequate education and training system, the high level of new indebtedness and the strong regional differences continue to pose problems for development: areas close to the coast are much more involved in the growth process than areas inland, which is also reflected in the expansion of infrastructure.
Agricultural yields (around 10% of the working population are employed here) cover the population’s own needs in only a few areas (e.g. wine, olives and dairy products), while productivity is low due to poor soil, small farms and low mechanisation. Maize, olives, potatoes, cereals and vegetables are cultivated, especially citrus fruits, peaches and almonds in the south. Port wine and the cork of the cork oaks play a special role in exports (Portugal is one of the world’s largest cork producers). The extremely fast growing eucalyptus trees imported from Australia provide the raw material for the cellulose industry and are cultivated accordingly. Off Portugal’s 830 km long coast lie fishing grounds rich in fish. Here sardines in particular are fished in the traditional way, also for export.
The industrial sector, which was neglected until the democratisation of the country, now generates almost a quarter of the gross domestic product. The most important centres are Porto and Lisbon. The textile and leather goods industry, the paper and chemical industry, steelworks and the leather industry all play a role.