During an official visit to Portugal, the president of the Junta de Andalucia, José Antonio Griñán, apologised for his inability to speak Portuguese and announced his intention to make Portuguese the second foreign language in secondary schools.
English is currently the primary second language in schools, followed by French.
Portugal is the third largest destination of exports from Andalucia and last year, 1,456 companies traded with its close neighbour to bring in €1,411 million. Portuguese, Griñán noted, is the third most common language in the western world after Spanish and English and is spoken on four continents.
Griñán, naturally, did not specify any time frame for the introduction of Portuguese into the school curriculum. He said it would be an optional second foreign language after English.
The PP-A responded by saying this was just another improvisation by the president and that most Andalucians could read and understand Portuguese.
The visit to Portugal was a ‘trade mission’ with over 200 entrepreneurs taking part.