Spanish and Portuguese leaders hold summit in Madrid

Madrid, May 13 (EFE).- Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy welcomed his Portuguese counterpart, Pedro Passos Coelho, to Madrid on Monday for the 26th Iberian Summit.

The leaders hope to send a joint message to the European Union urging a push for a banking union and the implementation of measures to fight unemployment.

Rajoy welcomed Passos Coelho to the Moncloa Palace, where the leaders listened to the Spanish and Portuguese national anthems before reviewing a military honor guard.

Rajoy and Passos Coelho are scheduled to sign several defense, social security and financial agreements, as well as a rail agreement and a declaration on development.

The summit's focus will be on making a united push to get the EU to take measures to deal with the economic meltdown in the region.

Rajoy is hopeful that the European Council will make a new push on the issue of a banking union next month, Spanish officials said.

Rajoy and Passos Coelho also want the EU to implement policies to deal with the problem of unemployment, especially among young workers.