Portugal is located on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. It is bordered by Spain in the east and north and by the Atlantic Ocean in the west and south. The population of the country is about 10.5 million and the capital of the country is Lisbon. Portugal claims to be the oldest nation-state in Europe as it was already established by the 12th century.
Portugal was a major power in the 15th and 16th centuries as they expanded their power to oversea colonies, becoming the first global empire in history and also the longest lasting European colonial empire. The empire existed for nearly 600 years until the last colony was lost in 1999.
Nowadays, Portugal is one of the most globalized and peaceful nations in the world. It is a member of all the important international associations as well as a part of the Eurozone. The biggest cities in Portugal are Lisbon and Porto, where most of the business, finance and industry are. Even though the country is suffering from the global economic crisis at the moment, it is still ranked as having a better quality of life than for example France, the UK or Germany.
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