Portugal and Spain to share ambulances and hospitals
PMs Costa and Sánchez already appear to enjoy a very good working relationship. Image: António Cotrim/ Lusa

Portugal and Spain to share ambulances and hospitals

Protocol due to be signed in today’s Iberian Summit

A new protocol is to be signed today allowing Portugal and Spain to share ambulances and hospitals.

The plan presented at the Iberian Summit taking place in Viana do Castelo will come into effect “immediately”, explain reports.

It will particularly apply to the north of Portugal and the region of Galicia – but already ‘down south’ cancer patients in the Algarve are due to receive radiosurgery in Seville. In other words, it is a blueprint for much wider collaboration.

It will be starting with the pilot-project 112 Transfronteiriço, says SIC television news this morning.

Response to 112 calls will be met by “the closest means possible, independently of the origin of emergency vehicles”.

Other matters on the agenda are water and the Convention of Albufeira – the agreement over the sharing of river flow which has been a bone of contention since ‘drought’ in both countries became the norm.

This is the 33rd Iberian Summit and promises a number of “agreements”, for scientific collaboration with EU ‘bazooka’ recovery funds, namely “an Atlantic constellation of satellites to observe the earth, and a centre for investigation and storage of energy in the form of semi- and micro-conductors in Cáceres”.

Green Energy Corridor

This too will come up for further discussion ahead of the next meeting with President Macron in December.

In spite of all the ‘experts’ who say the plan is ‘pie-in-the-sky’ logistically, the official mantra is that the country’s two prime ministers, António Costa and Pedro Sánchez, will further discuss the Portuguese-Spanish connections that need to be constructed between Celorico da Beira and Zamora, as well as the sea passage between Barcelona and Marseille “destined for green hydrogen in the future but with the immediate capacity for gas” (this last bit being part of the official mantra that specialists say is completely without foundation).

Two new bridges

Says SIC this morning, among the various agreements moving forwards today will be the commitment to construct two international bridges over the rivers Sever (between Nisa, in the Alentejo and Cedillo in the Spanish Extremadura) and Guadiana (from Alcoutim in the Algarve to Sanlúcar de Guadiana in Andalusia) by 2025.

Memoranda of understanding will also come for the rehabilitation of structural supports of the international bridge over the Minho river (linking Monção with Salvaterra), and for the creation of a corridor for bicycles and pedestrians over the current Guadiana international bridge connecting Vila Real de Santo António in the Algarve to Ayamonte.

Other agreements will focus on assuring ‘transfrontier work’, establishing the conditions for someone to be recognised official as a transfrontier worker, with rights that will encompass for example, someone living in Spain but working in Portugal and vice-versa.

Bit by bit the long held theory that Portugal and Spain will eventually merge as Iberia is happening in front of our eyes.

natasha.donn@portugalresident.com

ENDS