Portugal has declared independence day.
The Portuguese government has officially declared May 25 as independence day as a result of the decision of the country’s Constitutional Court, a move that comes amid increasing tension between Lisbon and Madrid.
Portugal’s government is in the process of declaring all 28 regions of the Portuguese territory as independent, but it’s unclear how it will do this as it is currently being enforced by the national government.
The decision comes amid an escalating standoff between the country and Madrid over its economic relationship with the European Union and the Lisbon-based International Monetary Fund.
The announcement was made by Prime Minister Jose Manuel Alves, in the presence of President Diosdado Cabello.
“We are determined to continue our independence and sovereignty,” Alves said.
“We will do everything to maintain our independence from any foreign intervention.
It’s a fundamental principle of our constitution.”
According to the government, it intends to hold a referendum on independence on May 24, but the process will take place in three phases.
In the first phase, the country will declare independence on March 23.
In the second phase, a second referendum will be held on April 6.
And in the third phase, Portugal will formally declare independence from the European union on June 30.
The move comes amid growing tensions between Lisbon- Madrid, which has a close economic relationship, and Berlin, which views the country as a “fractured” neighbor that should leave its relationship with Brussels intact.
The two countries are also locked in a dispute over Portugal’s role in the EU’s budget.
Both sides have expressed fears that if Portugal leaves the EU, the United Kingdom would take over the EU presidency and the Portuguese government would be unable to pursue a sovereign foreign policy.