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Portugal Country Profile

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Portugal at a Glance

Location:Southwestern Europe, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Spain
Climate:maritime temperate; cool and rainy in north, warmer and drier in south
Terrain:mountainous north of the Tagus River, rolling plains in south
Resources:fish, forests (cork), iron ore, copper, zinc, tin, tungsten, silver, gold, uranium, marble, clay, gypsum, salt, arable land, hydropower
Hazards:Azores subject to severe earthquakes
Population:10,707,924 (July 2009 est.)

A Brief Profile of Portugal

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.

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