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Portugal is a southern European country on the Iberian Peninsula, bordering Spain. Its location on the Atlantic Ocean has influenced many aspects of its culture: salt cod and grilled sardines are national dishes, the Algarve's beaches are a major destination and much of the nation's architecture dates to the 1500s–1800s when Portugal had a powerful maritime empire.

It is a member of the European Economic Community.[1]

Overview[]

Portugal is the showcase of what would megacorps do if they controlled the world, and the worst of it is that it is not totally bad. There is no Portuguese government as such. Rather half a dozen corporations (Arasaka, Amazonian Service and Security, WNS, Iberian Agrolndustrials, Metropolitan Merchant Finance, and Oliveira-Leisure) control the country. The EEC allows it because the specific weight of Portugal in Europe is insignificant and the balance is not affected.

In Portugal, life is serene and quiet. The "Government!" subsidizes almost everything from food to television, and all you have to do is carry out your job assigned according to your qualifications profile, all jobs are intended to be manageable. The EEC charter forces Portugal's borders to be open without restriction to any EEC products, services or, citizens but it's very difficult to sell foreign products if the stores will not accept it and if the advertisement bubble of WNS does not cover it. Portugal is the biggest experiment with a captive market in history.

And the market is steadily growing. The serene and calm atmosphere Arasaka strives so hard to achieve (and woe to anybody who interferes with it, as his family will never recover his or her body) attracts third age tourism as they value quiet over freedom and many corporate tourists too. The death of the Mediterranean tourism industry has been an added plus, so now the European pensioners flock to the dear beaches and orderly urbanization in the country.

Any rebel against the system will be "reeducated" to purge any antisocial behavior. The fact that those who survive reeducation suffer physical and psychological problems is a small price to pay for the common good. Still, not all Portuguese people have folded to the corporates the most daring of which operate from Spain, using pirate stations to interfere with official channels or smuggling restricted material. Many joined Europa Sur, and most have simply traveled to other EEC countries enjoying the full depth of their rights and privileges as European citizens. From 2010 to 2018 almost a million people left the country. There are Portuguese areas in most cities, and hundreds of small eurocrats (lacking the necessary political clout to reach the higher ranks, while still supporting each other are beginning to prepare EEC intervention in the country.

Cities[]

Lisbon[]

The touristic emphasis of the new Portuguese government has made Lisbon a showcase of the regime, turning it into a beautiful city, but a dead one, with no life of its own. Great measures have been taken, including building giant dykes to avoid the flooding that affects so many coastal cities. .

Coimbra[]

The only city with some flavor left A university city and a hotbed of opposition, frequently rocked by street riots. Part of the disagreement between the two corporate blocks that run the country is in the matter of closing or not the university. Arasaka of course is forclosing.

References[]

  1. Near Orbit p.36: "Right now the single most powerful force in space, the ESA is an outgrowth of an economic consortium of European nations called the European Economic Community. With the combined military and economic forces of France, Britain, Greece, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the United German Republic, Portugal, Denmark, and Austria, the "Common Market" nations control a disproportionate amount of the High Frontier. And with the USSR's recent overtures to the EEC, It[sic] looks as though the so-called "Pacific Century" may as well become the "Age of New Europe"."
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