sábado, 20 de outubro de 2018

Centre and peripheries (3) - Portugal, an Iberian periphery


The evaluation of the demographic dynamics, education levels, and in foreign trade imbalances shows Portugal’s growing weakness and dependence relatively to the Spanish state, in a context in which both are peripheries a Europe suffering from a process of economic and democratic entropy. 
Summary
 
1 - People, the most precious capital 
1.1 - Migrants 
1.2 - Knowledge, the great wealth 
2 - An unbalanced and unequal external trade 
2.1 - Iberian countries’ foreign trade profile
3 – Per capita incomes 

We have recently observed the inequalities between the various countries and their regions since 1990, and Portugal’s presence among the peripheral areas or those in demographic regression is very visible in this study, and this. Somewhat further back in time we noticed the purchasing power variations in Portuguese municipalities between 2004 and 2013, which were materialized in the observation of a greater homogeneity between the various regions, as a result of a more extensive impoverishment in those municipalities where the income was higher within, of course, the Portuguese context. 
In the present text we will focus on the inequalities within the Iberian Peninsula by disaggregating, as far as possible, the scoring elements by the Portuguese regions and the Spanish state’s autonomous regions. 
1 - People, the most precious capital
As we said recently, the population dynamics is an indicator of prime relevance to see whether a region is prosperous or evolves towards relative poverty. In the first case, it is attractive to its natives and also to people coming from its outside; and, in the second case, it tends to repel its own natives due to lack of attractiveness, and reduce its own reproduction (birth) rate. 
For the sum of the two peninsular states, demographic evolution is quite different in the present century, as can be seen in the following table. In Spain, even including the last years with very low population progression, an annual population growth close to 1% is observed in the first 15 years of the century, but the same does not quite happen in Portugal for the whole period. In 2015, meanwhile, INE reported a reduction of the resident population in 33,492 persons, which prolongs the trend documented here.
                                                                                                         Population variation (%)

2001/08
2014-15 * / 2008
2001 / 14-15 *
Spain
11.6
2,3
14.1
Portugal
2.6
-1.8
0.7
                                         * Portugal 2014, Spain 2015                                      Primary source: Eurostat
The details of these global data from the Portuguese administrative regions and the Spanish state’s autonomous regions reveal sharp inequalities. 
Firstly, it should be noted that the variations between 2001 and 2008 in the Centre, Alentejo, and Lisbon’s metropolitan area are due to profound changes in the composition of the member territories, and less so to considerations of territorial harmonization, being more the product of legislative engineering to maximize the flow of Community’s funds. As can be noted, those engineering actions did not avoid population reductions in the Centre, Alentejo, and also in the North, nor population stagnation in the Lisbon region during the next period, 2008/14-15. It does follow that variations for the period of 2001/08, shown in the chart and related to these regions, lack any real meaning.
The Asturias region is the only one where population decreases are observed in the two periods considered. With demographic decreases in 2008/14-15, there are four of the seven regions in Portugal – North, Centre, Lisbon metropolitan area, and Alentejo – and three Spanish autonomous regions – Asturias, as already mentioned, and also Castile-Leon and Galicia. In demographic terms, one can draw the Iberian periphery in the western range that excludes the Algarve and Lisbon´s metropolitan area, and proceeds through the northern interior of the Peninsula.

                                                                               Primary source: Eurostat

In the 2001/08 period, the Algarve is the only Portuguese region with a meaningful population growth that, nevertheless, is very distanced from the dynamics presented by the Spanish archipelagos - the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands – and even from the eastern Mediterranean regions – the Valencian Community, Murcia and Catalonia, in addition to the particular case of Madrid. During the same period, in addition to the population decline in Asturias, there is low growth in Castilla-Leon, Extremadura, Galicia, and the Basque Country.

In 2008/14-15, in Portugal, population growth is observed only in the Algarve, Azores and, especially, in Madeira. In the Spanish state’s autonomous regions there is a general decline of the population increases, when compared to the previous period, with the exception of the Ceuta and Melilla African coast’s enclaves.
1.1 - Migrants
By the end of 2014 390,000 foreign residents were registered in Portugal and 5073 thousands in Spain corresponding, respectively, to 3.7% and 10.9% of the total population; on the east coast’s autonomous regions – Catalonia, Valencia, Murcia, and the Balearic Islands – those indicators exceed 14%, the lowest indicators belonging to Extremadura and Galicia. In Portugal, between 2010 and 2014, there was a retraction in immigrants’ presence and since 2009 for Spain but, compared to 2008, the decrease of the immigrant population is approximate – 10.5% in Portugal and 13.6% in Spain – their causes resulting from the more or less explicit interventions by European institutions while seeking the salvation of the financial system.
The attraction of people coming from abroad is a symptom of social and economic dynamics, despite it being known that many immigrants will take the worst paid functions; but, at the same time, it represents enrichment in culture, creativity, exchanges between different ways of living and feeling, that correspond to the integration of the human being in Humanity. It is a social phenomenon that runs counter to the nationalist, racist, or religious attitudes with which the neoliberalism crisis has contaminated many people from the right, to the centre and the "left".
Europe, on the other hand, has historically always been a crossroads of people of various origins, since several millennia in the case of the Iberian Peninsula. Already in the 16th century, in 1551, 10% of Lisbon's population was black, a percentage that rose to 20% in 1578. What remains today, in the population of Madeira, of the black slaves who were imported to work on sugarcane plantations? They are there, integrated in the veins of the Madeirans. In Argentina, a study demonstrating high percentages of Indian and black genetic load, destroyed the “whites’” belief in a country populated by pure Caucasians. Race, as a differentiating characteristic of Homo sapiens is an imbecility, but it is a dangerous one.
The fact that the current levels of immigrant population are low is another demonstration that Portugal is a peripheral region that is not even appealing to refugees from the Near East or Africans. However, the illustrious political class evidences the taste for gentrification, as a form of parochial modernity and a way to segregate the indigenous population of those places with touristic "vocation", or of trying to sell real estate to money-rich foreigners, against the surrender of their passports[1] [5]. Once again, the connection between the political and the entrepreneurial classes favours the show-off "investments", with the utilization of public funds and continuing the typical mafia-capital laundering, with a special attraction to the real estate and hotel sectors.
1.2 - Knowledge, the great wealth
The graph below shows, for the 2000/15 period, the population evolution with the highest levels of schooling achieved for the two Iberian countries and for the EU as a whole.

Levels 0-2 - people who do not have primary education, or who have reached the primary education or even the first cycle of secondary education
Levels 3 -8 - people with higher education levels             Primary source - Eurostat

In the 15 years considered, the quota of people with higher qualifications increased its weight by 14 percentage points (pp) in Portugal, as compared to 12.4 pp in Spain and 10.1 in the EU as a whole. Spain, which has maintained within its population a proportion of those with higher education above that of the EU as a whole is, in this area, far above Portugal, although this proportion has grown here by a remarkable 160% in the period of 2000/15. In a European comparison, Portugal has in 2015 a more favourable indicator than countries such as Croatia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and, particularly, Malta, Italy, Romania and Turkey.

In the lower qualifications chapter, Portugal no longer has in that level 80.6% of its population aged 25/64, in 2000, that figure becoming 54.9% in 2015, benefiting in that period from the physical disappearance of people whose (little) schooling was obtained during the time of fascism[2]. In comparison with the other European countries, the Portuguese situation remains very unfavourable, only countries like Malta and Turkey present worse indicators.

Focusing the analysis on Iberia, it can be observed that in 2000 all Portuguese regions had, regarding population with higher education, lower indicators than any of the Spanish state’s autonomous regions, with Lisbon’s metropolitan area being the region – with 14.3% of people with higher education – that came closest to the Spanish autonomous regions having the worst indicators; the remainder are in much lower tiers. If, in Madeira, only 3.7% of people aged 25-64 years had higher education, the lowest ranked Spanish region - Castilla-La Mancha had 15.5%, which is a significant difference. Still in 2000, the autonomies with the most expressive indicators were the Basque Country and Madrid ... with more than double that of Lisbon’s metropolitan area which is, by far, the most educated region in Portugal.

Primary source - Eurostat

In 2015, despite substantial increases in the relative numbers of the population with higher education, all regions in Portugal have lower indicators than any of the Spanish autonomous regions, except for the Lisbon metropolitan area, this time the last place belongs to the Azores, with only 14.3% of the population with higher education. We highlight the continuation of positive developments in Spanish autonomous regions, with the most favourable situations again being for the Basque Country and Madrid with, respectively, 47.8% and 46.9% of the 25-64 year old population having higher education.


In 2000, those populations with lower levels of classification were clearly more representative in Portuguese regions than in the Spanish autonomies. In the Azores and Madeira this qualification level encompassed about 87% of the population aged 25/64 and in the Spanish autonomous regions the worst situations were observed are in Castile-La Mancha or Extremadura, with indicators of the order of 72%... which was little more than the 70% of the Lisbon’s metropolitan area, the Portuguese region with the smallest quota of this qualification type!

Primary source - Eurostat

15 years after the reality just described there is a widespread and marked reduction of this type of population with low levels of education. Azores and Madeira continue to have the highest rates; and, with the other Portuguese regions except Lisbon’s metropolitan area, they share with Extremadura the worst situations in the Peninsula. The Lisbon region continues to stand out within the Portuguese context, this time with levels similar to those of Castile-Leon and Catalonia, but clearly behind the autonomies with smaller quotas of people with low qualifications, Madrid and the Basque Country.

Comparing with other regions in European countries, we find it interesting to note that in West London the quota of people with higher education raises to 69.7%, and other cases can be noted were that indicator is higher than 50% – London, Brabant/Wallonia (Belgium), Oslo, Helsinki, north-eastern Scotland, East Scotland and Zurich (50%). Conversely, the cases with the lowest proportion of low qualifications are recorded in Prague (3.3%), Saxony and Bratislava, regions that are geographically close to each other.

The overall low levels of education in Portugal are evidenced, in European terms, by the relatively narrow portion of people with 25/64 years and higher education, in parallel with the high weight of those whose instruction level that does not exceed the first cycle of the secondary.

Even considering the evolution relative to the situation during the fascism epoch, the kleptocratic regime succeeding it, having as its fulcrum the PS/PSD party-state, was far from a population qualification policy aimed at approaching the European or even the Spanish standards. This despite having had 42 years to do it! It busied itself more with authorizing the setting-up of "universities" later shown to have behind them ordinary fraudsters, with increasing fees that penalize poorer families, with frequent and stupid manoeuvres in the guise of reforms, with a constant persecution of teachers, with the admission of hundreds of courses with no raison-d’être, with allowing the interference of corporate institutions (the orders) in limiting new-licensees’ access to their professions, with the adoption of the commercial formulas which surround the rules of Bologna, and with public financing of businesses in the area of ​​education, where the beneficiaries are institutions linked to the Catholic Church or to mafia groups close to the state-party itself.

On the other hand, the Portuguese business structure continues, in the present regime, to make few demands in terms of qualifications, looking above all for cheap labour force; the difference from fascist times is the neoliberal modernity of trying to insert into the school the primacy of technocracy, entrepreneurship and competition, and disguised forms of effective privatization.

The improvements observed in the population’s educational standard have not, in recent years, substantially changed the relative gaps to the Spanish state, showing that many of the most qualified people opt for emigration – as suggested by former prime minister Passos, himself a clear case of acquisition of a diploma that does not correspond to knowledge – or to remain in Portugal in the context of permanent precariousness and low relative salary. On the other hand, the existence of a high percentage of people with low qualifications guarantees to the most developed European countries the labour force supply for tomato harvesting in France, for cleaning in Switzerland, or construction in Germany, often with the distinct intermediation of entrepreneurs, heirs of a slave trader vocation, and with the proliferation of workers’ recruiting and hiring companies – eventually created "on the spot". For an economic training where undercapitalized, debt-ridden and dubiously managed SMEs, accustomed to a high dependence on the State, it is natural that the increase of the minimum wage from €500 to €530 has to be softened with Social Security financing, since national entrepreneurship does not dispense with public funding, even of the current expenses.

Finally, let us look at the education gaps, in Portugal and Spain, relative to 2015, when compared with other peripheral countries, especially in Eastern Europe, some of which have marked poverty levels. On the one hand, the Iberian countries’ quotas  relative to the lowest qualification levels are clearly superior to those of the peripheral countries we have selected; in what concerns the weight of people with higher education, four of these countries have better indicators than Spain, while only four have worse situations than Portugal, even if only one, Romania, is distanced.


Levels 0-2
Levels
3-4
Levels
5-8

Levels
0-2
Levels
3-4
Levels
5-8
Bulgaria
18.1
54.4
27.5
Ireland
20.2
37.0
42.8
Cyprus
21.9
37.5
40.6
Latvia
9.9
58.5
31.6
Croatia
16.7
60.6
22.7
Lithuania
6.5
54.8
38.7
Slovakia
8.6
70.3
21.1
Poland
9.2
63.1
27.7
Slovenia
13.2
56.6
30.2
Czech Republic
6.8
71.0
22.2
Estonia
8.9
53.0
38.1
Romania
25.0
57.8
17.2
Greece
29.6
41.3
29.1
Spain
42.6
22.3
35.1
Hungary
16.8
59.0
24.2
Portugal
54.9
22.2
22.9
                                                                                                                                         Primary source - Eurostat

With regard to intermediate qualification segments of the population, it is clear that they are of less relevance in the Iberian countries, where that situation does not have much demand nor is it the subject of public profile-raising policies; thus, these intermediate social strata do not constitute a large central element of fixation or transition of persons. Iberian companies appear to be divided between a decreasing but still large segment of the population with low qualifications and another, more dynamic, segment of people with higher qualifications. The analysis of these dynamics is complex and we will not do it here.

In the previous year, between Portuguese regions and the Spanish state’s autonomous regions, the relative volume of such intermediate skills level, growing when compared to 2000, revealed its highest representativeness in the Balearic Islands (27.4%) and the Lisbon’s metropolitan area (26.3 %), while the lowest occurred in the Azores (16%), Extremadura (17%) and Madeira (17.8%).

2 - An unbalanced and unequal external trade
Taking as a base value of 100 the export or import of goods from Spain and Portugal in 1999, there is some parallelism in their evolution but with a much enlarged growth of the lines showing the Spanish foreign trade. While the Spanish exports increase 2.6 times until 2015, Portuguese’s grows 2.2 times; and in the import chapter the difference in dynamism is similar – 2.2 times in the case of Spanish imports and 1.6 in Portuguese’s. An aspect of "internationalization" that gladdens the fanatics of GDP growth anchored in exports and reduction of labour income.
These differences are explicitly seen in the following graph. In Portugal there is great parallelism between the exports and imports evolution up to 2010, as a consequence of the sharp growth of exports, following the fall in 2009 and the stagnation of imports, subsequent to the austerity and poverty that is ravaging the country. In Spain, the exports evolve in a parallel way to the Portuguese one, but show more dynamism after 2011; as far as Spanish imports are concerned there is also parallelism, but with more accelerated rates, especially in 2002/07, a period which in Portugal spanned the economic activity decrease that begun in the last years of the Guterres government and continued in the Durão/Santana consulates.

Primary source - Eurostat

As is easily observed by the troubled nationalists, nothing here can be related to the advent of the euro. Distinct currencies are transaction enhancements, with fluctuating exchange rates, according to the "market", purchase charges and a sharp competition between currencies for the attraction of "investors"; and, everything points to it, a large palette of national currencies in Europe would not have prevented the subprime crisis, Lehman's failure, nor the global recession that more or less still affects all countries, including Great Britain which kept its pound, or China which, as an engine of the global economy, has shown serious performance problems.
These imports were induced by the stopping of the real estate folly and construction in both Iberian countries and the austerity that accompanied the restructuring of the financial system in each of them – much more drawn out in Portugal. The structural difficulties generated a huge unemployment, reduced incomes, hence the reduction in consumption or investment. The evolution of the Portuguese and Spanish trade balances shows this reality, which also contradicts the hallucinations of seeing the euro as the cause of all evils, thus concealing the real causes – the public and private debts and the inherent inequalities of capitalism which, in Europe, builds a Centre and peripheries.
Primary source - Eurostat

The evolution of the trade deficit (imports - exports) between the two countries provides a robust parallel, but with the Portuguese indicator systematically higher, returning in 2015 to levels close to those of 1999 (2.4 times higher than the one observed in Spain).
Some say that the Portuguese consume beyond their means[3] and thus they import many goods. The past few years reveal, precisely, that it is not excessive consumption – sinful consumption, to use a term of Dijsselbloem’s liking – but the absence of a dynamic, creative, capitalized and with good management skills entrepreneur class, which historically has been unable to invest. However it retains some €70000 M in offshores, while waiting for the public treasury to recapitalize the banks, bankrupt or swollen with NPEs.
Investment in Portugal (GFCF) has EU’s third lowest mark for the period of 2010/15 (16.6% of GDP), only exceeding Britain (16.4%), Cyprus (15.8%), and the inevitable Greece (13.5%).
2.1 - The external trade profile of the Iberian countries

                                                                                                                    Export (% of total)
Portugal
Spain
Destinations with more than 5% of the total

2001
2008
2015

2001
2008
2015
GERMANY
19.0
12.8
11.8
GERMANY
11.9
10.6
10.9
SPAIN
19.3
27.9
25.0
ITALY
9.0
8.1
7.3
FRANCE
12.7
11.8
12.1
FRANCE
19.6
18.4
15.5
GREAT BRITAIN
10.2
5.5
6.7
GREAT BRITAIN
9.0
7.1
7.3
USA
5.7

5.2
PORTUGAL
10.2
9.1
7.0
ANGOLA

5.8





BELGIUM
5.3






Degree of concentration
72.3
63.7
60.9

59.7
53.4
48.0
Primary source - Eurostat

As a rule, the five countries that make up more than 5% of the total Portuguese exports show a very high concentration, a large potential vulnerability, as it was seen in the case of Angola, or Brazil and Venezuela, although in the latter cases the combined exports slightly exceeded 1.4% of the 2015 total. On the other hand, there is a clear loss of the relative importance of sales to Germany and the Great Britain and a large increase in the representativeness of Spain, whose imports from Portugal represent 8.4% of the Portuguese GDP, revealing the growing dependence of Portuguese importers from beyond Caia.
The concentration of exports, using the same model, also occurs in Spain, where there is also an evolution similar to the Portuguese one, but much smaller dependence degrees. The relative importance of Spanish exports to Germany remains the same, contrary to what happened in Portugal, and it decreases regarding the other four destinations. For its part, the Spanish exports to Portugal have a much lower emphasis than the Portuguese exports to Spain which, while revealing the natural exchanges between the two Iberian countries, evidences very distinct degrees of dependence due to the difference in size of the weight in exports, as well as the verified evolution; Spain increases in importance to Portuguese exports and Portugal decreases its relevance for Spanish exports. Given the contiguity of the two countries, this shows the ease with which Portuguese exports to Spain develop, and the decreasing relevance of Portugal to Spanish exporters. This imbalance is one of the characteristics that define relations between centres and peripheries, where the central economies place their products in a greater diversity of destinations and in more distant ones. Portugal, at the light of the data of its exports, presents itself as a peripheral economy within Iberia[4].
Imports (% of total)
Portugal
Spain
Provenances with more than 5% of the total

2001
2008
2015

2001
2008
2015
GERMANY
13.8
13.4
12.9
GERMANY
16.4
14.7
14.3
SPAIN
27.4
30.8
32.9
CHINA

6.0
7.0
FRANCE
10.2
8.1
7.4
FRANCE
17.6
12.0
11.6
GREAT BRITAIN
5.0


GREAT BRITAIN
7.1


ITALY
6.8
5.4
5.4
ITALY
9.1
8.0
6.5
NETHERLANDS


5.1
NETHERLANDS


5.0
Degree of concentration
63.2
57.7
63.7
Degree of concentration
50.2
40.7
44.4




PORTUGAL
2.8
3,4
3.9
             Primary source - Eurostat

As already pointed out for exports, Portuguese imports are also very concentrated and in a close geographical area, in Europe, and with a relatively constant level of concentration, unlike Spain, and which is reduced when compared with 2001. It is, thus, evident that Portugal is a regional economy with commercial relations concentrated in the western part of Europe.
In the area of ​​imports, Spain's role as supplier increases – with around a third of the total in 2015 – to the detriment of France and Great Britain, with Italy emerging as unvarying, unlike in the exports’ case.
In what regards Spain, the concentration level is lower than in Portugal, the majority of the importing countries contributing to that effect, offset by the presence of China which occupies the third place among Spain’s suppliers, surpassing Italy. It should also be noted that no country has, within the Spanish imports, the same weight that Spain represents among Portuguese suppliers. Note that although the relative importance of Portugal, as the neighbouring country supplier, increases, this importance does not go beyond 3.9% in 2015 which once again shows Portugal’s more peripheral position within the Peninsula.
The Iberian countries’ trade balances are patently negative (imports > exports), us having observed above their evolutions as a percentage of GDP. In numerical terms, these deficits are as follows, for the years we have been using for comparison:
€ Millions

2001
2008
2015
Spain
-43133
-95710
-26933
·        per inhabitant (€)
-1056
-2084
-578
Portugal
- 17176
-25347
-10304
·        per inhabitant (€)
- 1659
- 2386
- 988
 Primary source - Eurostat

External deficits grow substantially between 2001 and 2008 declining thereafter, even more markedly in 2015 as a consequence of economic stagnation, rising unemployment, and austerity. The deficit per capita has a similar evolution but, always being much higher in Portugal than in Spain, shows the weakness of the Portuguese economic structure; in approximate terms, the trade deficit per inhabitant in Portugal corresponded to about four times the minimum wage in 2001, almost five in 2008, and less than two in the previous year.
In the Portuguese case, contributing to the deficit are, in particular, the trade with Spain, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, with values greater than 1000 M € in 2015. For the same year, the leading Spanish deficits occur, in order of size, regarding China, Germany, and the Netherlands, with figures of 14.6, 12.7 and 6.1 billion euros.
With regard to the major Portuguese surpluses, (each with about 1500 million euros) in 2015, they are obtained in the relationships with the US, France, and Britain. As for Spain, the main positive balances result from exchanges with Portugal, France, and Great Britain, with gains of 6.8, 6.7 and 5.0 billion euros, respectively.
About 70% of the Portuguese trade deficit results from the imbalance of trade with Spain, a country where the sum of the imbalances with China and Germany is equivalent to its total deficit in 2015. On the other hand, the Spanish trade surplus with Portugal is equivalent to 25% of the 26.9 billion euros of the total deficit. This means that Portugal is a subsidiary economy for the Spanish productive structure and where it gathers a substantial part of the revenues that finance imports.

3 – Per capita incomes
Let us see next how per capita income in the Iberian Peninsula has evolved between 2001 and 2014 (or 2015 in the case of Spanish state’s autonomous regions), separating this time span into two periods: 2001/08 and 2008/15.
 Primary source - Eurostat

The period until the beginning of the financial crisis and the neoliberal model, and the one that followed it, which is dragging itself on with no real solutions other than the dumping of the model‘s continuity costs on the population, especially on workers, young people, on the designated 99%, are both well defined. What is scarier is that, contrary to other times of capitalism crisis, there is no real resistance; there is not even a set of political practices that challenge the power of capital, which renders quite easy the management of the national political classes and the Community’s high bureaucracy. And there is also no political theory that inscribes tactical or strategic mobilizing goals, confronting neoliberal managers with a conservative, bureaucratic "left," vaguely defending a discredited socialist model that has never gone beyond state capitalism, while clinging like ticks to the neoliberal’s power budgets.
In the first period, Portuguese regions show slightly higher growth rates than those observed for Spanish autonomous regions and, in the second one, of crisis and austerity, there are still cases of a slight rise in the Portuguese per capita income, with the exceptions of the Algarve and Madeira. This contrasts with the Spanish state’s autonomous regions, all of which have a decrease in their per capita incomes in 2008/14.
One may think that this Portuguese reality is virtuous, but the developments that follow will show a much darker situation. The ratio between the richest region of the peninsula and the poorest region was of 2.5 in 2001 and 2005, and was reduced to 2.3 in 2014/15, although this decrease has little significance, as can be seen in the following table.
GDP per capita (€)

2001
2008
2014/15
1
Com. Madrid
23016
Com. Madrid
32152
Com. Madrid
31812
2
Navarra
21484
Basque country
31243
Basque country
30459
3
Baleares
21256
Navarra
30128
Navarra
28682
4
Basque country
20932
Catalonia
28332
Catalonia
27663
5
Catalonia
20899
Aragon
26650
Aragon
25552
6
La Rioja
18919
La Rioja
25986
La Rioja
25507
7
Aragon
17917
Baleares
25717
Baleares
24394
8
Canary Islands
16759
Cantabria
22850
Lisbon / Tagus Valley
22793
9
Com. Valencia
16461
Lisbon / Tagus Valley
22710
Castile-Leon
21922
10
Cantabria
16095
Castile-Leon
22421
Cantabria
20847
11
Lisbon / Tagus Valley
15833
Asturias
22336
Asturias
20675
12
Castile-Leon
15441
Com. Valencia
21878
Com. Valencia
20586
13
Ceuta
14753
wood
21392
Galicia
20431
14
Asturias
14468
Galicia
21226
Canary Islands
19900
15
Melilla
14425
Canary Islands
21186
Ceuta
19399
16
Murcia
14336
Ceuta
20765
Murcia
18929
17
Castile - La Mancha
13425
Murcia
20354
Castile - La Mancha
18354
18
wood
13410
Castile - La Mancha
19697
Andalusia
17263
19
Galicia
13341
Melilla
19546
Melilla
17173
20
Andalusia
12735
Andalusia
18625
Algarve
16628
21
Algarve
12390
Algarve
17852
Extremadura
16166
22
Extremadura
10851
Extremadura
16633
Madeira
15710
23
Centre
9683
Azores
15099
Azores
15111
24
Alentejo
9619
Alentejo
14847
Alentejo
15039
25
North
9557
Centre
13289
Centre
14392
26
Azores
9396
North
12951
North
13858
   Source: INE – Iberian Peninsula in Numbers
In the Iberian regions’ hierarchy there are always four Portuguese regions in the last places, with the increase in Azores’ position and the degrading of the Centre and North ones deserving highlighting, the latter two being the regions with the greatest export tendency which shows the weaknesses of a model based on low wages. It should also be noted the big changes in Madeira, within the same hierarchy, and the improvement of Lisbon and Tagus Valley which, again, demonstrates that it is the focus for wealth concentration in Portugal, the mirror for the macrocephaly which articulates with the desertification of large part of the territory. Despite that improvement, the GDP per capita in the Lisbon region does not surpass, in 2015, 71,6% of the one observed for Madrid, the richest region in the Peninsula.
This situation demonstrates that where the income is lower the compression margin is smaller than that of the richest regions. This was perfectly evident in the purchasing power decreases observed in Portugal between 2004 and 2013, which we studied in good time.
As can be seen, all regions of the Spanish state reduce their per capita levels, the same did not happen in Portugal where, more to the point, it can be said they stabilized in 2014 slightly above the 2008 values. The increase of the GDP per capita in the Lisbon region during the period of 2001/08 allowed it to surpass the Canary Islands and the Valencian Community and, in the last period, to be ahead of Cantabria.
There are some variations in the top places amongst the Spanish autonomous regions, although Madrid is always in the first place in those points in time we have selected. Those changes, however, do stabilize in 2008 and 2015 relatively to 2001, with obvious hierarchy decreases of the Balearic Islands and the rise to second place of the Basque Country. For its part, the Extremadura is always the Spanish state’s region with the smallest GDP per capita and has been narrowing the gap with the Algarve, having surpassed Madeira in 2014/15.
This succinct narrative showcases Portugal as the most peripheral region within Iberia, where the Lisbon region appears as a true island, with GDP per capita indicators that clearly differentiate it from the rest of the country. Allowing for the evident difference in GDP per capita, that periphery is extended in a mitigated form throughout the whole Spanish state’s south (where Extremadura, Andalucía, Murcia and Castile-La Mancha can be included) and also to Galicia.

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[1]  A policy that came to be shown to be drowning in corruption, with the explicit involvement of PSD mandarins, while leaving unscathed, once more, its promotor, Portas.
[2] Ideologically, Salazar’s rural directive defended a bent and obedient agriculture-working population with little need for school education; and in what concerns women the dictator even defended that if they knew how to read and write they could use that knowledge to send notes to their sweethearts… Salazar did not defend knowledge proliferation, fearing “subversion” and, above all, wanted cheap labour force to serve Portuguese entrepreneurs, scarce in technology and not very demanding regarding qualifications, at a time when foreign investment had very little expression.
[3] Labour income, in 2000, corresponded to 48% of the GDP, was worth 47% in 2008 and only 43% in 2015
[4] Regarding foreign investment in Portugal, Spain has a share of 24.9% in 2012, only topped by Holland, as can be seen here  http://grazia-tanta.blogspot.pt/2014/01/investimento-estrangeiro-em-portugal.html