Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon is once again trying to get his country to drop “United States” from its official name to make it just “Mexico.”
The current name, Estados Unidos Mexicanos or the United States of Mexico, adopted in 1824 after the country gained independence from Spain is an imitation of its neighbor, the U.S. However, the full name is rarely used except on official documents.
Calderon feels his country doesn’t need to copy anyone and that it was time it got rid of the “United States.”
“The name of our country no longer needs to emulate that of other nations," the president told a news conference in Mexico City Thursday, the Associated Press reported. "Forgive me for the expression, but Mexico's name is Mexico."
Calderon, who leaves office Dec. 1, has sent a bill to the Congress to change the official name of the country which would have to be approved by both the houses of the Congress and a majority of Mexico’s state legislatures.
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Calderon first suggested the name change as a congressman in 2003, but the bill did not make it to a vote.
Calderon said that while the name change "doesn't have the urgency of other reforms," it was a relevant issue for the Mexicans. "Mexico doesn't need a name that emulates another country and that no one uses on a daily basis," he said.
"It's time for Mexicans to return to the beauty and simplicity of the name of our country, Mexico," Calderon said. "A name that we chant, that we sing, that makes us happy, that we identify with, that fills us with pride."
However, Twitter reaction to the outgoing president’s proposal, mostly mocking the new bill, suggested that few Mexicans see it as a relevant issue.
Calderon will hand over the presidency in a few days to president-elect Enrique Pena Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, who defeated the president’s National Action Party candidate in the July election.