Causes and Effects
Studies in Fiscal Federalism and State-local Finance series
Edited by Ehtisham Ahmad, Massimo Bordignon and Giorgio Brosio
Chapter 7: Portugal’s multi-level finance adjustments within the sovereign debt and Euro crises
Portugal’s multi-level government organization has undergone substantial changes since the democratic revolution of April 1974. From a highly centralized regime based on districts with little power, and municipalities with even less power, the country’s governance model evolved into a more decentralized system with empowered municipalities and disempowered districts, and the simultaneous creation, in 1976, of two autonomous regions – Azores and Madeira. The asymmetric arrangements are linked, in the second half of the 1970s, to the fast decolonization process that detached Portugal from its African possessions under strong local and international pressure. This paved the way for the concession of ample autonomy to the two Atlantic archipelagos adjacent to the continent.
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