The political crisis in Portugal caused by the resignation of General Spinola as President is matched by an equally sharp crisis in the country's economy.
GV PAN Bridge along foreshore
GV Rich residential area (5 shots)
GV Poor residential area (4 shots)
SV Daily life in poor area (3 shots)
SV PAN Ship being loaded
SV Woman fishseller
CU SV Fruit sellers (3 shots)
SV Shoppers in market
GV & SV Queluz Palace with tourist bus outside (2 shots)
SV & GV Tourists in Palace (5 shots)
Initials ET/2359 ET/027
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Background: The political crisis in Portugal caused by the resignation of General Spinola as President is matched by an equally sharp crisis in the country's economy.
Portugal's new administrators, headed by General Francisco da Costa Gomes, are trying to prevent a new confrontation between Socialists and Conservative and to keep the country balanced midway between capitalism and socialist regulated economy. They face a very difficult task.
Portugal is one of the poorest countries in Europe and has a twenty-five percent rate of inflation. Wages are low in the cities and even lower in the rural areas.
While official unemployment figures are low, independent observers point out that there are a million and a half Portuguese workers in Northern Europe. The money they send home accounts for about ten percent of Portugal's Gross National Product. (GNP).
Tourism is another source of income for many Portuguese, with 45 percent of the touriste coming from the United States or Britain. But this year, the tourist trade has been hard-hit by cholera epidemics in many favorite resorts and the drop in foreign visitors has hit the economy hard.
Even the rich are having their troubles. At home, they are confronted by the ever-increasing strength of the Left who demand a fairer distribution of Portugal's wealth. Abroad, they are worried that their colonial holdings in Africa, Macoa and Timor may be taken over without compensation. Portugal's economic weekness, as in other European countries, is leading to even sharper and more direct confrontations between Socialists and Conservatives.