President Marcelo reinforces Portugal’s support for UK on Bastille Day

President Marcelo reinforces Portugal’s support for UK on Bastille Day

Commemorating Bastille Day in Paris, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa showed Portugal’s unwavering support for UK (irrespective of Brexit) when questioned on the idea – championed by France’s president Macron – for a European Army.

Marcelo said: “It’s good to have a solid nucleus” reinforcing defences, promoting dialogue with neighbouring countries “and making a bridge with the United Kingdom, which is very important” as intentions here are to “continue collaboration with Britain”.

But as for Macron’s dream of a European army, Portugal is not interested. Even though the theme of last Sunday’s Bastille Day celebrations was ‘the construction of a Europe of defence in connection with NATO’, Marcelo said that “one thing is a strong European presence in defence, another is a European army. At this moment, Portugal doesn’t countenance the issue of a European army”.

This puts Portugal in the same position as Austria, Malta, Ireland, Finland and Sweden – all of which have repeatedly claimed they remain “militarily non-aligned” despite Brussels increasing efforts to establish a common military response force.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com

Photo: © 2016-2019 Presidência da República Portuguesa