Until relatively recently, Portugal’s experience with democracy hadn’t been any more successful than say, Iraq’s.
Matters changed with a bloodless and popularly supported coup in 1974 , (without, it must be said, any help from coalitions of trigger-happy foreign troops or bomb-crazy insurgents). However, the path to an effective democracy was a long and rocky one requiring much hard work and constant vigilance by the Portuguese people. Some say that it wasn’t until 1987 that Portuguese democracy achieved maturity.
Anyway, it’s a lovely peaceful place now where they make excellent custard tarts (natas) and where it’s warm, even in January.