THE Mayor of Porto has proposed a union between Portugal and Spain, suggesting the name ‘Iberolux.’
Rui Moreira, an independent who has held the role as Mayor of Portugal’s second largest city since 2013, voiced his idea at the Cities Forum 2020, a European Commission event which was hosted in his home city this year. He said:
“For dozens of years we turned our backs on each other, there was a tremendous mistrust. Happily, that reality no longer exists today.
“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.”
Moreira states that Porto is already “iberoluxing” on a daily basis as most of their tourists are Spaniards with the majority flocking from Galicia and Catalonia to admire previously unseen artwork of the great Joan Miró at the Serralvos Foundation. He added that there has also been an influx of people from Madrid since the Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas moved to FC Porto in 2015.
According to Moreira, many politicians also see the advantages of such a union between the two countries, but as Euro Weekly News understands, only one political party has stated their intentions to do so – Íber, a political party formed in Castilla-La Mancha.
However, Moreira believes that “the European project is alive and in good health” and that there is already an ongoing dialogue between northern Portugal and Galicia where thousands of Spanish children are taught Portuguese at school.
The idea of a union is not new as in 1944, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg created a customs union called Benelux before the establishment of the European Union where 15 years later, a treaty turned this into an economic union.