Portugal (European Parliament constituency)
In European elections, Portugal is a constituency of the European Parliament represented by twenty-one MEPs. It covers the member state of Portugal; as of September 2014 The first European election in Portugal was a by-election held after it joined the European Communities in 1987. The rest of the EC had voted in 1984; the 1989 European election was the third election to the European Parliament and the first time Portugal voted with the rest of the Community. The 1994 European election was the fourth election to the European Parliament and the third European election in Portugal; the 1999 European election was the fifth election to the European Parliament. The 2004 European election was the sixth election to the European Parliament; the 2009 European election was the seventh election to the European Parliament. The 2014 European election was the eighth election to the European Parliament. European Election News by European Election Law Association List of MEPs europarl.europa.eu
The euro is the official currency of 19 of the 28 member states of the European Union. This group of states is known as the eurozone or euro area, counts about 343 million citizens as of 2019; the euro is the second largest and second most traded currency in the foreign exchange market after the United States dollar. The euro is subdivided into 100 cents; the currency is used by the institutions of the European Union, by four European microstates that are not EU members, as well as unilaterally by Montenegro and Kosovo. Outside Europe, a number of special territories of EU members use the euro as their currency. Additionally, 240 million people worldwide as of 2018 use currencies pegged to the euro; the euro is the second largest reserve currency as well as the second most traded currency in the world after the United States dollar. As of August 2018, with more than €1.2 trillion in circulation, the euro has one of the highest combined values of banknotes and coins in circulation in the world, having surpassed the U.
S. dollar. The name euro was adopted on 16 December 1995 in Madrid; the euro was introduced to world financial markets as an accounting currency on 1 January 1999, replacing the former European Currency Unit at a ratio of 1:1. Physical euro coins and banknotes entered into circulation on 1 January 2002, making it the day-to-day operating currency of its original members, by March 2002 it had replaced the former currencies. While the euro dropped subsequently to US$0.83 within two years, it has traded above the U. S. dollar since the end of 2002, peaking at US$1.60 on 18 July 2008. In late 2009, the euro became immersed in the European sovereign-debt crisis, which led to the creation of the European Financial Stability Facility as well as other reforms aimed at stabilising and strengthening the currency; the euro is managed and administered by the Frankfurt-based European Central Bank and the Eurosystem. As an independent central bank, the ECB has sole authority to set monetary policy; the Eurosystem participates in the printing and distribution of notes and coins in all member states, the operation of the eurozone payment systems.
The 1992 Maastricht Treaty obliges most EU member states to adopt the euro upon meeting certain monetary and budgetary convergence criteria, although not all states have done so. The United Kingdom and Denmark negotiated exemptions, while Sweden turned down the euro in a 2003 referendum, has circumvented the obligation to adopt the euro by not meeting the monetary and budgetary requirements. All nations that have joined the EU since 1993 have pledged to adopt the euro in due course. Since 1 January 2002, the national central banks and the ECB have issued euro banknotes on a joint basis. Euro banknotes do not show. Eurosystem NCBs are required to accept euro banknotes put into circulation by other Eurosystem members and these banknotes are not repatriated; the ECB issues 8% of the total value of banknotes issued by the Eurosystem. In practice, the ECB's banknotes are put into circulation by the NCBs, thereby incurring matching liabilities vis-à-vis the ECB; these liabilities carry interest at the main refinancing rate of the ECB.
The other 92% of euro banknotes are issued by the NCBs in proportion to their respective shares of the ECB capital key, calculated using national share of European Union population and national share of EU GDP weighted. The euro is divided into 100 cents. In Community legislative acts the plural forms of euro and cent are spelled without the s, notwithstanding normal English usage. Otherwise, normal English plurals are sometimes used, with many local variations such as centime in France. All circulating coins have a common side showing the denomination or value, a map in the background. Due to the linguistic plurality in the European Union, the Latin alphabet version of euro is used and Arabic numerals. For the denominations except the 1-, 2- and 5-cent coins, the map only showed the 15 member states which were members when the euro was introduced. Beginning in 2007 or 2008 the old map is being replaced by a map of Europe showing countries outside the Union like Norway, Belarus, Russia or Turkey.
The 1-, 2- and 5-cent coins, keep their old design, showing a geographical map of Europe with the 15 member states of 2002 raised somewhat above the rest of the map. All common sides were designed by Luc Luycx; the coins have a national side showing an image chosen by the country that issued the coin. Euro coins from any member state may be used in any nation that has adopted the euro; the coins are issued in denominations of €2, €1, 50c, 20c, 10c, 5c, 2c, 1c. To avoid the use of the two smallest coins, some cash transactions are rounded to the nearest five cents in the Netherlands and Ireland and in Finland; this practice is discouraged by the Commission, as is the practice of certain shops of refusing to accept high-value euro notes. Commemorative coins with €2 face value have been issued with changes to the design of the national side of the coin; these include both issued coins, such as the €2 commemorative coin for the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, nationally i
Assembly of the Republic (Portugal)
The Assembly of the Republic is the parliament of the Portuguese Republic. According to the Portuguese Constitution, the unicameral parliament "is the representative assembly of all Portuguese citizens." The constitution names the assembly as one of the country's organs of supreme authority. It is located in a historical building in Lisbon, referred to as Palácio de São Bento, the site of an old Benedictine monastery; the Palácio de São Bento has been the seat of the Portuguese parliaments since 1834. The Assembly of the Republic's powers derives from its power to dismiss a government through a vote of no confidence, to change the country's laws, to amend the constitution. In addition to these key powers, the constitution grants to the Assembly extensive legislative powers and substantial control over the budget, the right to authorize the government to raise taxes and grant loans, the power to ratify treaties and other kinds of international agreements, the duty to approve or reject decisions by the President of the Republic to declare war and make peace.
The assembly appoints many members of important state institutions, such as ten of the thirteen members of the Constitutional Court and seven of the sixteen members of the Council of State. The constitution requires the assembly to review and approve an incoming government's program. Parliamentary rules allow the assembly to call for committees of inquiry to examine the government's actions. Political opposition represented in the assembly has the power to review the cabinet's actions though it is unlikely that the actions can be reversed. Party groups can call for interpellations that require debates about specific government policies; the assembly consisted at first of 250 members, but the constitutional reforms of 1989 reduced its number to between 180 and 230. Members are elected by popular vote for legislative terms of four years from the country's twenty-two constituencies (eighteen in mainland Portugal corresponding to each district, one for each autonomous regions and Madeira, one for Portuguese living in Europe and a last one for those living in the rest of the world.
Except for the constituencies for Portuguese living abroad, which are fixed at two members each, the number of voters registered in a constituency determines the number of its members in the assembly, using the D'Hondt method of proportional representation. Constituencies vary in size. For the 2015 legislative elections, the MPs distributed by districts were as follows: According to the constitution, members of the assembly represent the entire country, not the constituency from which they are elected; this directive has been reinforced in practice by the strong role of political parties in regard to members of the assembly. Party leadership, for example, determines in which areas candidates are to run for office, thus weakening members' ties to their constituencies. Moreover, members of the assembly are expected to vote with their party and to work within parliamentary groups based on party membership. Party discipline is strong, insubordinate members can be coerced through a variety of means.
A further obstacle to members' independence is that their bills first have to be submitted to the parliamentary groups, it is these groups' leaders who set the assembly's agenda. The President of the Assembly of the Republic is the second hierarchical figure in the Portuguese state, after the President of the Portuguese Republic, is elected by secret vote of the members of parliament; the President of the Assembly is aided by four vice-presidents, nominated by the other parties represented in the parliament, is the speaker. When he is not present, one of the vice-presidents takes the role of speaker; when the President of the Republic is, for any reason, unable to perform to job, the President of the Assembly of the Republic becomes his substitute. São Bento Palace ARtv Official website
2017 Portuguese local elections
The Portuguese local elections of 2017 were held on October 1, 2017. The elections consisted of three separate elections in the 308 Portuguese municipalities, the election for the Municipal Chambers, whose winner was elected mayor, another election for the Municipal Assembly, as well an election for the lower-level Parish Assembly, whose winner was elected parish president; this last election was held in the more than 3,000 parishes around the country. The Socialist Party was the big winner of the elections consolidating their position as the largest local party in Portugal; the PS won 160 mayors, 10 more than in 2013, more than 38% of the votes. The Socialists maintained control in cities like Lisbon, although here they lost their majority and Coimbra, at the same time they gained some strong PSD bastions like Chaves or Mirandela. Nonetheless, the PS lost one of their bastions, Vila do Conde, to an independent; the strong nationwide results for the PS helped to legitimize António Costa's position as Prime Minister after his loss in the 2015 general elections.
It was the first time since 1985, that the party in government won a nationwide local election. The Social Democrats, aside from CDU, were one of the big losers of the elections, they lost 8 cities in comparison to 2013, although, in term of votes won, they got the same number compared to 2013. The PSD achieved bad results in Lisbon and Porto, polling third and below 15% of the votes; the worse than expected results led Pedro Passos Coelho to question, on election night, if he had the political ground to continue as leader of the party. Two days on October 3, Passos Coelho announced he would not stand for another term as PSD leader; the CDU was one of the big losers of the election. The Communist-Green alliance achieved their worst results in history losing 10 cities, 9 to the PS and 1 to an independent, polling below 10% of the votes; the CDU lost strong bastions in Setúbal district like Almada and Barreiro and wasn't able to hold on to Beja. The CDS-People's Party achieved surprising results in Lisbon.
Assunção Cristas, CDS leader and candidate for Lisbon mayor, polled 2nd place and won 21% of the votes, 10 points ahead of the PSD. In the country as a whole, the CDS was able to gain one municipality from the PSD, Oliveira do Bairro, was able to maintain the other 5 cities they won in 2013. Independent Movements increased their scores compared to 2013. A total 17 independent candidates gained or maintained control in their respective cities Rui Moreira, mayor of Porto, as he was able to win re-election with a majority. Smaller parties made gains: Livre, in coalition with the PS, gained Felgueiras from the PSD, We, the Citizens! won Oliveira de Frades from a PSD/CDS coalition and JPP maintained control of Santa Cruz in the Madeira islands. Turnout in these elections increased compared with four years ago, with 55.0% of voters casting a ballot. All 308 municipalities are allocated a certain number of councilors to elect corresponding to the number of registered voters in a given municipality.
Each party or coalition must present a list of candidates. The lists are closed and the seats in each municipality are apportioned according to the D'Hondt method. Unlike in national legislative elections, independent lists are allowed to run. Council seats and Parish assembly seats are distributed as follows: For parishes with more than 30,000 voters, the number of seats mentioned above is increased in one per 10,000 voters beyond that number (if, by applying this rule the result is the number of seats is increased in one more; the main political forces that will be involved in the election are: Left Bloc People's Party 1 Unitary Democratic Coalition Together for the People People–Animals–Nature Socialist Party Social Democratic Party 11 The PSD and the CDS–PP form coalitions in several municipalities with the Earth Party and the People's Monarchist Party. A Survey where voters were first asked which party or coalition they would vote for and secondly, which candidate they would cast their ballot for.
Politics of Portugal List of political parties in Portugal Elections in Portugal Official results site, Portuguese Justice Ministry Portuguese Electoral Commission ERC - Official publication of polls
Prime Minister of Portugal
Prime Minister is the current title of the head of government of Portugal. As head of government, the Prime Minister coordinates the actions of ministers, represents the Government of Portugal to the other bodies of state, is accountable to Parliament and keeps the President informed; the Prime Minister can hold the role of head of government with the portfolio of one or more ministries. There is no limit to the number of terms; the Prime Minister is appointed by the President of the Republic following legislative elections, after having heard the parties represented in the Parliament. The person named is the leader of the largest party in the previous election, but there have been exceptions over the years. Since the Middle Ages, some officers of the Portuguese Crown gained precedence over the others, serving as a kind of prime ministers. Over time, the role of principal officer of the Crown fell upon the chanceler-mor, the mordomo-mor and the escrivão da puridade; the first modern prime minister of Portugal was Pedro de Sousa Holstein, Marquess of Palmela, sworn in on 24 September 1834, as Presidente do Conselho de Ministros.
In 1911, the official title of the prime minister became. In 1933, it became again; the present title Primeiro-Ministro, attributed to the head of the Government of Portugal, was established by the Constitution of 1976 after the revolution of 25 April 1974 The incumbent Prime Minister of Portugal is António Costa, who took office on 26 November 2015 as the 13th Prime Minister of the Third Portuguese Republic. The official residence of the Prime Minister is a mansion next to São Bento Palace, which, in confusion, is often called "São Bento Palace". Portuguese Prime Ministers of the Third Portuguese Republic: 1st Mário Soares; the mansion, dated from 1877, was built within the garden of the old monastery that held the Portuguese Parliament. It has been the Prime Minister's official residence since 1938. Although it is the official residence of the Prime Minister, not all incumbents have lived in the mansion during their term in office. António Costa, current Prime Minister, doesn't live in the residence.
As of April 2019, there are eight living former Prime Ministers of Portugal. The most recent Prime Minister to die was Mário Alberto Nobre Lopes Soares, on 7 January 2017 aged 92. Leader of the Opposition President of Portugal Official Website of the Prime Minister of Portugal
Constitution of Portugal
The present Constitution of Portugal was adopted in 1976 after the Carnation Revolution. It was preceded by a number of constitutions including ones created in 1822, 1838, 1911, 1933; the Constitution of 1911 was voted on August 21, 1911 and it was the basic law of the Portuguese First Republic. It was the first republican constitution; the Portuguese Constitution of 1933 was introduced by Prime Minister António de Oliveira Salazar in 1933, establishing the basis of the authoritarian Estado Novo regime, following the 28 May 1926 coup d'état. It is credited as the first constitution of any recognized country embracing corporatist principles, espousing a bicameral parliament, including a western-styled National Assembly, elected directly every four years, the Corporative Chamber, representing different "corporations", universities and local municipalities, in effect appointed by the National Assembly after its inaugural; the role of the Corporative Chamber was limited to that of an advisory body, while all legislation was handled by the Assembly under the direction of its only party or "movement", the National Union, an ideology-lacking beacon subordinate to the Salazar administration.
The Constitution stipulated for a strong President of Portugal, naming the Prime Minister on his own accord with no deference to the opinions of the Assembly required to be taken into consideration, such President to be elected every five years through direct elections with no term limits. Óscar Carmona served as President, although outmaneuvered politically by Salazar, until his death in 1951. The two following presidents, Craveiro Lopes and Américo Tomás, were more or less puppets of an aging Salazar, although the latter did not hesitate to use his wide-ranging powers to prevent Salazar's successor, Marcelo Caetano from performing changes aimed at reforming Portugal's authoritarian government; the direct consequence was the coup d'état of 1974. The Constitution of 1976 was drafted by a Constituent Assembly, elected on April 25, 1975, one year after the Carnation Revolution, it was completed in 1975 finished and promulgated in early 1976. At the time the constitution was being drafted, a democratic outcome was still uncertain in the midst of the revolution.
After a leftist coup had been put down in November 1975, it was not known if the armed forces would respect the assembly and allow work on the constitution to go forward. The Movimento das Forças Armadas and leftist groups pressured and cajoled the assembly, there was much discussion of establishing a revolutionary and socialist system of government. Moreover, not all of the assembly's members were committed to parliamentary democracy; the membership was intensely partisan, with some 60 percent of the seats occupied by the left. After great struggle, the Constituent Assembly adopted a constitution that provided for a democratic, parliamentary system with political parties, elections, a parliament, a prime minister; the document established an independent judiciary and listed a number of human rights. Although few of these provisions are exceptional, some of the constitution's features are noteworthy; until the constitutional revisions of 1982 and 1989, the constitution was a charged ideological document with numerous references to socialism, the rights of workers, the desirability of a socialist economy.
It restricted private investment and business activity. Many of these articles were advanced by Portuguese Communist Party representatives in the Constituent Assembly, but they were advocated by members of the Socialist Party, who at that time, for electoral reasons, were seeking to be as revolutionary as the other left groups; the resulting document proclaimed that the object of the republic was "to ensure the transition to socialism". The constitution urged the state to "socialize the means of production and abolish the exploitation of man by man," phrases that echoed Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto. Workers' Committees were given the right to supervise the management of enterprises and to have their representatives elected to the boards of state-owned firms; the government, among many admonitions in the same vein, was to "direct its work toward the socialization of medicine and the medicopharmaceutical sectors". Next, the military was given great political power through the role given by the constitution to the MFA-controlled Revolution Council that, in effect, made the MFA a separate and co-equal branch of government.
The council was to be an advisory body to the president, would function as a sort of constitutional court to ensure that the laws passed by parliament were in accord with the MFA's desires and did not undermine the achievements of the revolution. The council was to serve as a high-level decision-making body for the armed forces themselves; the council was a concession to the MFA for allowing the Constituent Assembly to sit and promulgate a new "basic law". Some of the Portuguese Left the PCP, supported the idea; the final innovative feature of the constitution was that it provided for a system of government, both presidential and parliamentarian. The Constituent Assembly favored two centers
The Belém Palace, or alternately National Palace of Belém, over time, been the official residence of Portuguese monarchs and, after the installation of the First Republic, the Presidents of the Portuguese Republic. Located in the civil parish of Santa Maria de Belém, the palace is located on a small hill that fronts the Praça Afonso de Albuquerque, near the historical centre of Belém and the Monastery of the Jerónimos, close to the waterfront of the Tagus River; the five buildings that make up the main façade of the Palace date back to the second half of the 17th century, were built at a time when the monarchy and nobility desired to seek respite from the urbanized confines of Lisbon. The site was part of the Outeiro das Vinhas, a property that fronted the beach of the Tagus River. D. Manuel of Portugal, a diplomat and poet, the son of the 1st Count of Vimioso, acquired the land in 1559, naming it Quinta de Belém and constructing a building with three salons and two atria. By the mid-17th century the property was linked to a scion of the Royal Court transferred to the possession of the Counts of Aveiras and occupied by a convent.
The land was acquired by King John V, who ordered its reconstruction in 1726. It encompassed two parcels, the Quinta de Baixo and Quinta do Meio, which the monarch purchased from João da Silva Telo, 3rd Count of Aveiros for 200,000 cruzados, in addition to the contiguous farmlands of the Counts of São Lourenço, with the objective of constructing a summer home. Although it is unclear when the first building was completed, by 1754 Queen Maria Anna of Austria had died in the residence. During the aftermath of the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, it was determined that there was superficial damage and no fear of collapse, but a number of repairs were completed between 1755 and 1756. Under supervision of the architect João Pedro Ludovice, the Casa Real de Campo de Belém or Palácio das Leoneiras received attention. Work included replacing tile and repairs to the stables. Around 1770, architect Mateus Vicente de Oliveira undertook reconstruction of the total estate; this was the beginning of several small projects within the residence that included the painting of the Sala das Bicas, the replacement of azulejo tiles along the southern veranda, construction of the birdhouses.
Initial construction of the Neoclassical horse training arena designed by the Italian Giacomo Azzolini began in 1828. The space is now occupied by the National Coach Museum After 1807, with the departure of the royal family for Brazil, the furniture and artwork were removed from the palace, the building was abandoned until the end of the Liberal Wars. By 1839, the palace was once again used to hold royal balls, served as the temporary residence for visiting royal dignitaries. In 1840, during extensive renovations of the Palace of Necessidades, the royal family returned to Belém and resided in the palace during that decade; the Infanta Antónia was born there in 1845. By 1850, renovation of the grand ballroom was complete, permitting Queen Maria II to receive Portuguese society, in September 1861, the Infanta was married there to Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern. In November 1861, the Infante Augusto died, followed by the Infante João on Christmas. A succession of deaths forced the Royal Family to abandon the palace, it once again became a residence for visiting dignitaries.
This change in purpose was accompanied by small repairs to the building, as well as the installation of gas lines and new lighting. In 1886, after his marriage to Princess Amélie of Orléans, King Carlos ordered renovations of the palace to prepare it as the royal residence; these were completed under the direction of architect Rafael de Silva Castro. The palace was the birthplace of the Prince Royal Luís Filipe in 1887 and Manuel in 1889. Between 1902 and 1903, remodeling of the interior spaces was undertaken by Rosendo Carvalheira, with the additional construction of a visitors house on the north walk of the Pátio das Damas to receive delegations of foreign dignitaries; this addition was inaugurated with the official visit of the King of Spain, Alfonso XIII, to Portugal at the end of 1903. The following year, the training stables were separated from the palace and destined to shelter the National Coach Museum. By a royal decree published in the Diário do Governo, the palace ceased to operate as a royal residence, passed to the Treasury for the "accommodation of heads of state and foreign missions that come on an official visit to Lisbon, leaving for that purpose by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs".
Following the 5 October 1910 Revolution, the Secretaria-Geral da Presidência da República moved into the palace on 24 August 1911, as article 45 of the Constitution prohibited the Chief of State from occupying a residence on properties held by the State. A loophole in the document allowed the authorization on 28 June 1912 of a government edict to rent an annex alongside the Palace for 100,000 réis per month to house the first President Manuel de Arriaga, who preferred to live in his local residence and work at the palace; this policy of renting the space continued throughout the period of the First Republic. After the assassination of President Sidónio Pais in 1918 at the Rossio railway station, the ex-President's body lay in state in the Sala Luís XV until his burial; the official residency law for the President of the Republic was promulgated on 24 March 1928. It specified that the President and his family would be permitted to reside in one of the national palaces. At the time of the promulgation