President Marcelo

Marcelo “convinced Spanish elections won’t affect EU presidency”

Spain will be holding EU presidency when snap elections take place

Portugal’s president Marcelo has said today that legislative elections in Spain in July will not affect the Spanish presidency of the European Union (EU), which by then “will already be underway.

“It will be an electoral act in the middle of the Spanish presidency, but I am convinced this will not alter the Spanish presidency, which is very important to close dossiers such as the EU/Mercosur agreement, to get the European Union to be more sensitive to positions that southern countries have defended, many of them together with Portugal and Spain,” said Marcelo on the sidelines of the “Musicians at the Palace of Belém” programme in the former Royal Arena, next to Belém Palace.

He also rejected comparisons (that have been made) between the political context in Spain and that in Portugal, noting that “the Spanish situation is a specific situation, which is in another phase of the political cycle, which also has peculiar characteristic”.

“I will not attach any significant importance to the Spanish presidency other than to say that it is essential for Portugal and the EU that it goes well. I am sure it will go well with all governments”, he said, hoping that “it will be a good presidency, whatever the decision of the Spanish electorate”.

Says Lusa, Portugal’s head of State declined to comment directly on the snap elections in Spain, brought forward by about six months to July 23 by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez following Sunday’s abysmal performance by the ruling PSOE party at municipal and regional elections (PSOE’s coalition partner Podemos also lost ground across the board, further weakening Sánchez’s position, according to Reuters).

He told reporters: “I don’t usually comment on electoral acts in other countries and in this case I won’t make an exception either. Each country is sovereign, has its own political situation. I follow very closely what is happening in Spain, a neighbouring country that is very close to Portugal.” 

Source material: LUSA