Multi-level Finance and the Euro Crisis
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Multi-level Finance and the Euro Crisis

Causes and Effects

Edited by Ehtisham Ahmad, Massimo Bordignon and Giorgio Brosio

Representing a unique contribution to the analysis and discussion of the unfolding Eurozone crisis in terms of the relationship between central and local government, this book addresses a number of important fiscal and political economy questions. To what extent have local and regional governments contributed to the crisis? To what degree have subnational services and investments borne the brunt of the adjustments? How have multi-level fissures affected tensions between different levels of government from the supranational to the local? This volume covers these and many other critical issues that have been largely ignored despite their relevance.
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Chapter 7: Portugal’s multi-level finance adjustments within the sovereign debt and Euro crises

Mário Fortuna


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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