Significant minority wants Portugal to be part of Spain
A recent poll shows over 30 percent Spaniards and about 40 percent Portuguese are in favour of forming a federation between the two nations.Madrid –A significant minority in Spain and Portugal back the formation of a federation between their two nations, a poll published Tuesday showed.
Just under one-third of all Spaniards, 30.3 percent, and 39.9 percent of all Portuguese, are in favour of the idea, according to the survey by Spain's Salamanca University which was presented in Madrid.
More than 30 percent in both nations reject the idea of a federation. About 29 percent of Spaniards are indifferent to it compared to just 17.7 percent of Portuguese, whose average incomes are lower than their neighbours.
The poll of 876 people was carried out by researchers at the university in April and May.
Portugal's only Noble laureate for literature, Jose Saramago, sparked controversy among his fellow Portuguese in 2007 when he said it was "inevitable" that the country would end up joining with Spain.
Spain, which was formed out of a patchwork of warring kingdoms, already consists of various nationalities and languages that coexist, he told Portuguese daily Diario de Noticias. Saramago added Portugal could become another Spanish autonomous region like Catalonia or the Basque Country.
Portugal's Foreign Minister Luis Amado swiftly rejected the idea, telling reporters that while he respected Saramago, his own "vision of the relationship between Portugal and Spain over the coming decades is completely different".
Any attempt to unite Portugal with Spain would run into considerable opposition and commentators complain loudly whenever a Spanish firm buys up a Portuguese peer.
A poll published in weekly Portuguese newspaper Sol in 2007 found 28 percent of all Portuguese were in favour of a union with Spain, whose population of 46 million is more than four times greater than Portugal's.
Portugal marks as a national holiday the day in 1640 when the country regained independence from Spain after a 60-year period of rule by Madrid.
AFP / Expatica