n a republic in SW Europe, on the Atlantic: became an independent monarchy in 1139 and expelled the Moors in 1249 after more than four centuries of Muslim rule; became a republic in 1910; under the dictatorship of Salazar from 1932 until 1968, when he was succeeded by Dr Caetano, who was overthrown by a junta in 1974. Mario Soares restored constitutional government in 1976 and served as president from 1986 until 1996. Portugal is a member of the European Union. Official language: Portuguese. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: euro and escudo. Capital: Lisbon. Pop.: 9964000 (1998 est.). Area: 91831 sq. km (35456 sq. miles)
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