The heads of state and government of Portugal and Spain will join today to mark the reopening of the border, which ended three and a half months ago, with high-level ceremonies in Badajoz and Elvas.
Due to the covid-19 pandemic, by joint decision, the Luso-Spanish border was closed at 23:00 on March 16 (00:00 on the 17th in Spain), with crossing points exclusively destined for the transport of goods and the cross-border workers, and reopened at 23:00 this Tuesday, (00:00 today in Spain).
The authorities of the two Iberian countries wanted to give special political symbolism to this reopening and organized ceremonies this morning, on both sides of the border, with the participation of the President of the Republic of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, of the King of Spain, Felipe VI, by the Portuguese Prime Minister, António Costa, and the head of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez.
According to the official program released, a ceremony will be held at the Archaeological Museum of Badajoz, at 9:30 am in Portugal (10:30 am in Spain), in which the hymns of both countries will be performed and there will be a photograph of family. Fifteen minutes later, a similar ceremony will take place at the Castle of Elvas, in the district of Portalegre.
The Spanish Minister for Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, began by announcing a reopening of the border with Portugal for June 22, an announcement to which the Portuguese Government reacted with surprise, and then it was agreed on July 1.
Last Sunday, in an interview with the Catalan newspaper La Vanguardia, the Portuguese Prime Minister stated, referring to today's ceremonies: “We will celebrate with dignity the opening of our border, the oldest in Europe, which with great sadness we have been closed during these months ”.
Spain was one of the countries hardest hit by the covid-19 pandemic, a disease caused by a new coronavirus detected in December last year in central China, and adds up to more than 28 thousand deaths, in a total of about 250 thousand cases of infection accounted for .
In the past few weeks, the number of new infections and reported deaths has dropped significantly. From Monday to Tuesday, nine more deaths and 99 new cases were reported in Spain, according to the Spanish Ministry of Health.
In the same 24 hours, Portugal recorded eight more deaths and 229 more infected, now totaling 1,576 deaths and a total of 42,141 cases of infection accounted for, according to the Directorate-General for Health (DGS).
Most of the new cases have arisen in the Metropolitan Area of Lisbon, mainly in the municipalities of Sintra, Amadora, Loures, Odivelas and Lisbon, which led the Government to adopt specific measures, especially for 19 parishes, where the state of calamity continues to prevail. , while most of the national territory went on alert.
The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, and the Prime Minister, António Costa, have defended that Portugal opted for the truth in the disclosure of the covid-19 data and have pointed out that the country is one of those that performs more tests in the European space .
In the current situation, Portugal and Spain have been side by side in the European Union, from the outset, in defense of a strong economic and financial response to the consequences of the covid-19 pandemic.
In view of the departure of the former Portuguese Minister of Finance, Mário Centeno. presidency of the Eurogroup, which will take place soon, António Costa admitted to support the candidacy of the Spanish Minister of Economy, Nadia Calvino, considering it important that this position “continues to be held by a socialist”.
The Ecological Party “Os Verdes” (ENP) marked a protest against nuclear energy and for the closure of the Spanish power station in Almaraz during today's official ceremonies.
The association ProToiro – Portuguese Federation of Bullfighting also announced that it will make a protest during these ceremonies against the policies of the Portuguese Government applied to bullfighting shows.
IEL / PMF (FPB)
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