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Lisbon dreams of Europe's Silicon Valley tag

The Portuguese capital is well placed to become a tech hub because it has strong infrastructure, cheap rents and an educated workforce that is fluent in English, backers claimLisbon is betting that hosting the Web Summit, Europe’s largest tech event, will spur the growth of startups and draw foreign investors, helping it compete with the continent’s main innovation hubs. Portugal, struggling with a high debt and low growth, requested a three-year 78-billion-euro ($85 billion) international bailout in 2011 that imposed higher taxes and steep spending cuts. While the crisis hammered the economy, depriving it of state funding and easy bank loans, it also drove change, pushing people to come up with new ideas for businesses — many of them tech startups.

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