Portugal–Spain relations

Portugal–Spain relations


Relations between Portugal and Spain are good. They cooperate in the fight against drug trafficking and tackling forest fires (common in the Iberian Peninsula in summers), for example. These close relations are facilitated by similar governments: the government of conservative Spanish PM José María Aznar coincided with the government of also conservative José Manuel Durão Barroso in Portugal; today, both José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero of Spain and José Sócrates of Portugal are socialists.

Territorial Disputes

There is an unsettled territorial dispute regarding the municipality of Olivenza and the smaller town and municipality of Táliga, both administered as a part of the province of Badajoz, in the Spanish autonomous community of Extremadura. Portugal does not recognize Spanish sovereignty over this territory which was aquired by Spain during the War of the Oranges in 1801. This matter is not pressed by the Portuguese government, which, however, never draws the frontier line in this area in official maps.

There is also some difuse dispute regarding Portugal's Exclusive Economic Zone in the territorial waters of the Savage Islands (a small archipelago north of the Canaries), under Portuguese sovereignty. Spain objects on the basis that the Savage Islands do not have a separate continental shelf [ [http://www.realinstitutoelcano.org/wps/portal/rielcano/contenido?WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/Elcano_es/Zonas_es/Europa/DT34-2004 Lacleta Muñoz, José Manuel: "Las fronteras de España en el mar". Documentos de trabajo 34-2004, "Real Instituto Elcano"] ] , according to the article 121 [ [http://www.un.org/Depts/los/convention_agreements/texts/unclos/part8.htm United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, Part VIII, Article 121] ] of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The status of the Savage Islands as islands or rocks is thus at the core of the current dispute. Today the Savage Islands constitute a natural reserve whose only year-round inhabitants are two wardens of Madeira's Natural Park. Over the years the Portuguese authorities have seized some Spanish fishing boats around the area for illegal fishing. [ [http://tercud.ulusofona.pt/Publicacoes/2005/LeitaoN_CarvalhoL_Text.pdf Carvalho, Luis and Leitão, Nuno, "A Noção "Estratégica" das Ilhas Selvagens" (in Portuguese)] ]

See also

*1383–1385 Crisis
*Portuguese Empire
*Portuguese Restoration War
*Foreign relations of Spain
*Foreign relations of Portugal

External links

* [http://www.olivenca.org/ Grupo de Amigos de Olivença]

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