The 28 May 1928, the chaotic First Republic was overthrown by the Ditadura Nacional who became the Estado Novo in 1933 when the new constitution was written. The Ditadura Nacional and the Estado Novo are a corporatist government opposed to communism, socialism, liberalism, and anti-colonialism and are pro- Roman Catholic.
The Estado Novo government is a bicameral legislature. The legislative power is held by the National Assembly elected every four years and a purely consultative Corporatist Chamber composed corporations like employers, provinces, municipalities, economic organizations, universities, schools, trade unions, social welfare organizations.
The executive power is hold by an president elected by popular vote for a five-year term. The actual president is Óscar Carmona. The prime minister is António de Oliveira Salazar.
The economic system of Portugal is neither capitalist or communist, there is extensive state regulation and a lot of private ownership. License are needed for setting up or relocating industrial plant. Investment in machinery and equipment also need government approval. The state have an extensive authorities in private investment and wages.
These measures helped the Portuguese economy a lot. By considered the principles of a balanced budget and monetary stability as categorical imperatives, Salazar restored the equilibrium in the fiscal budget and the balance of international payment, leading Portugal out the financial chaos of the first republic. Year after year, the second republic had a surplus in his account, making the state able to finance public infrastructure projects without resorting either to inflationary financing or borrowing abroad.
In the first republic, the post-secondary education was reserved to a tiny elite. By the end of the XIX century, the illiteracy rate was more than 80%. 68.1% of the Portuguese population was classified illiterate by the 1930 census. In 1934, the first years with UN on power. Education became a national priority. State started building schools and universities in the mainland. Land was given to the Holy See for them to make a catholic university along with religious building and a hospital.
Important Governmental Organization
The Polícia de Vigilância e de Defesa do Estado or State Defence and Surveillance Police was created in 1933 by Salazar. The PVDE is divided in two section:
- The international Section who controls immigration, intelligence and counter-espionnage;
- Social and Political Defence Section who prevent and repress crime of social and political nature.
The União Nacional or National Union is the only political party in Portugal. It defends colonialist, nationalist, corporatist and conservative values. When the UN was founded in 1930, it was an organization seeking to units all the Portuguese. It became the political party that we know in 1934.