PORTUGAL and Spain need to join forces, a leading Portuguese mayor has proclaimed.
Dubbing the proposed union Iberolux, mayor of Porto Rui Moreira made his pitch at the Cities Forum 2020.
Portugal’s second-largest city hosted the annual European Commission event this year.
“For dozens of years we turned our backs on each other, there was a tremendous mistrust. Happily, that reality no longer exists today,” he told the EFE news agency.
“We speak a language that is not the same, yet we understand each other; we have an Iberoamerican space that is essential to both countries; what’s left to do is to work on building Iberolux.”
A similar pact has been made in the past with Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg creating the Benelux customs union in 1944.
While the idea of a Spanish-Portuguese union has been around for centuries, there has been a lack of political will or demand among voters.
Only the Iber party in Castilla La Mancha has called for a union and they failed miserably at the 2015 elections.
Moreira added that the EU is ‘alive and in good health’ and is ready for new ideas like Iberolux.
He pointed to the already fluid border between Portugal and Galicia and Extremedura.
The two Spanish regions already teach thousands of their schoolchildren Portuguese.
“It’s one more argument in favour of the creation of Iberolux,” said Moreira.