Devil of a Time for Portugal

The Japanese came up with a system called just-in-time, a way of getting parts to factories only at the moment they're needed, avoiding costly warehousing and handling. In Portugal, just-in-time is less an efficient production system than a philosophy of life — and politics.

The Prime Minister for the past six years, António Guterres, quit in December after his Socialist Party (PS) was trounced in municipal elections by its main rival, the Social Democratic Party (PSD). Guterres had two years left in his term but felt bound to step down after such a huge slap, the worst part of...

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