Portugal. At the beginning of the year, Portugal's credit
rating was lowered by two steps by the Standard & Poor's
credit institution. But the country was not alone; Cyprus,
Italy and Spain also received lower credit ratings with two
steps. Portugal's GDP shrank 2% in 2011, and at the
beginning of the year, the recession was expected to
continue with a 3% GDP fall in 2012. According to
countryaah, unemployment in
Portugal was 14% at the end of the year.
In March, the European Commission asked the European
Court of Justice to impose a fine of the equivalent of SEK
400,000 per day for Portugal because it does not comply with
EU rules on telecommunications services. Indeed, Portugal
has granted the former state monopoly Portugal Telecom
exclusive rights in the market until 2025, which excludes
In April, the Portuguese authorities decided not to
resume the investigation into the British girl Madeleine
McCann, who disappeared in May 2007 while on vacation with
her parents in southern Portugal. British Scotland Yard had
requested that the case be resumed.
In July, an initiative was presented to reduce high youth
unemployment by offering internships to 90,000 young people.
Portugal has a youth unemployment rate of 36% and thus ranks
third among the EU countries with the highest youth
unemployment. With a new program, Impulso Joven, the
government wants to redistribute EU funds in the budget and
invest € 343 million to reduce unemployment among young
In July, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a
new disbursement of emergency loans to Portugal of EUR 1.48
billion, corresponding to almost SEK 13 billion. The
disbursement will come after Portugal submitted a new report
on how the budget cuts have progressed. The IMF praised
Portugal, saying that the country is now on the right track
and that the 2012 budget target appeared to be within reach.
Several forest fires raged in the country during the late
summer months of August and September, and Portugal was
forced to ask for EU assistance with the extinguishing work.
Among other things, it burned north of Lisbon, where a
firefighter died. The Algarve and Madeira were also
The economy in crisis Portugal continued to decline,
according to the INE Statistics Office. During the third
quarter, the country's GDP shrank by 0.9% compared to the
previous quarter and by 3.5% compared to the same quarter in
2011. The country's government expected GDP to fall by 3% in
2012. This meant that the country was in its deepest
recession since the 1970s.
One of this year's cultural capitals was Portuguese
Guimar„es in the northern part of the country, which has a
castle from the 9th century. Among the Portuguese, Guimar„es
is known as the country's first capital. In 2001, the center
of Guimar„es was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.