The strange request of two Extremadura municipalities to merge


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At a time when territorial movements are emerging that advocate separation as a way to become stronger, in Extremadura a proposal has emerged between the mayors of two localities to merge both territories and thus become the third largest population in the autonomous community. They are Don Benito and Villanueva de la Serena.

The initiative, which has the support from all political groups, business and civil society organizations, has arrived this Monday at the Council of Ministers, where municipalities have received authorization to ask the question among their citizens.

“Do you agree with the Don Benito City Council exercising the initiative to process the merger procedure with the municipality of Villanueva de la Serena / Don Benito?” Will be the question that the residents will have to answer. As the Minister Spokesman Isabel Rodríguez has reported, this is an extraordinary procedure that has only been carried out twice in Spain since the Bases Law came into force in 1985, but “without a doubt it is a decision to applaud because it’s about getting stronger. «They are going to add not only population and extension but also they will generate one of the most important poles of economic development in Extremadura», Stressed Rodríguez. The merger process will continue if the referendum exceeds 66% acceptance, a percentage that the councils have set themselves, convinced of the “social peace” that reigns in the municipalities in favor of this initiative, sources from the Executive point out.

The two antecedents mentioned by the minister are the merger in 2013 of the municipalities of Cesuras and Oza dos Ríos constituting Oza-Cesuras, and the merger in 2016 of Cerdedo and Cotobade, constituting Cerdedo-Cotobade.

Neighbors see the merger as an opportunity to join forces and for the population to benefit from more services. Only a few kilometers separate their urban centers, but the distance is only physical. After the popular consultation, if there is a sufficient majority, at the beginning of 2023 work will begin on the merger. The objective, to become the third largest city in Extremadura and give a boost to the local economy and employment, which could grow between 3 and 5%. At the moment, for the neighbors they are all advantages. A union that seems to be only a matter of time.

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