MEXICO CITY, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- Mexican President Felipe Calderon has asked Congress to drop the little-known "United States of" in the official name of Mexico.
Calderon, who leaves office Dec. 1 after six years as president, said Thursday he wants the country to be known simply as "Mexico" on official documents and currency, the BBC reported.
"The name of our country no longer needs to emulate that of other nations," Calderon said in a news conference, referring to the name's similarity to its northern neighbor, the United States of America.
"Forgive me for the expression, but Mexico's name is Mexico," he added.
The country took its name in 1824 after winning independence from Spain, modeling it after the United States, which was seen as an example of democracy and liberty.
Critics of Calderon's proposed legislation said the country has bigger problems than a name change, CNN reported.
"With so many real problems in this country, I don't think that it matters," Enrique Krauze, a leading historian and political analyst, told The New York Times. "No one ever calls Mexico anything other than Mexico."