The President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, and the Portuguese Prime Minister, António Costa, have expressed their willingness to relaunch bilateral cooperation and their common vision within the EU after the coronavirus pandemic.
Sánchez and Costa have participated in the two events chaired by King Felipe VI of Spain and the President of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, in Badajoz and Elvas to symbolize the reopening of the border between the two countries, which remained closed since on March 17 because of COVID-19.
At the end of these acts, Sánchez and Costa have appeared before the journalists and have expressed their satisfaction for what constitutes a return to normality of the cross-border relationship.
The President of the Spanish Government expressed his happiness for this and for participating in a symbolic act that he considered to have been charged with a great deal of emotion.
For him, Spain and Portugal are two brother nations that share the vision of what has happened with the pandemic and the challenges of all of Europe before it.
“We hope that the border will never have to be closed again as a result of a pandemic,” stressed Sánchez, who conveyed his gratitude to the Portuguese prime minister for the support he has had from him in the most difficult moments of the health crisis.
For Sánchez, the pandemic must be seen as a great opportunity to reclaim the European model, its welfare state and its health system.
It has also urged to be aware of the opportunities that the crisis has opened in order to give it a positive and transformative response, and to have cohesion as its main objective.
Regarding the measures against possible outbreaks in Spain, he recalled that the Autonomous Communities are responsible for health management and have come out of the situation that has been very reinforced.
Something that he believes is being evidenced by the reaction capacity they are having to face these outbreaks with guarantees and to whom he has conveyed a message of calm, but also of “not letting your guard down.”
For his part, António Costa stated that the closure of the borders has been a “unique” circumstance for all the Portuguese and Spanish generations that have lived within the framework of the European Union.
In this sense, he highlighted that the “oldest border in Europe” has reopened with two separate events where fortified groups of Badajoz and Elvas have been visited and that were built “to defend and separate for centuries”.
Now, he said, the “reunion” is coming to return “to be very close neighbors” and to enhance the opportunities for common development of both countries.
Costa explained that until the arrival of the vaccine it will be necessary to “live” with the coronavirus, and therefore, the measures implemented to prevent infections must be complied with and respected.
As for the position of some European countries regarding how the economic recovery should be faced, he considered that this crisis “is not of some countries, but of all”, since “there will be no nation that does not suffer it”, and for therefore Europe must “harness its synergies” together.
In this sense, he highlighted the initiatives of the European Commission and the European Central Bank in pursuit of economic recovery, since he believes that the recovery of Europe will be “fundamental” for the world economy and emphasizing the commitment to digitization. and environmental commitment.
For Costa, “there is no reason for Austria, the Netherlands, Denmark or Sweden to be less committed” than Portugal or Spain in the economic recovery.
Regarding the reopening of the border, he recalled that in the current phase of the pandemic “there are no political decisions” that do not have “a sanitary dimension”, and in this sense he considered it “essential” that “everyone be aware that when a Portuguese citizen visits Spain, they must respect the rules of this country, and vice versa. “
If these precepts are fulfilled, with the reopening “everything will be advantages”, the Portuguese prime minister stressed.