Monday, September 27

Two municipalities will hold a public consultation to create the third largest city in Extremadura

The union between the Badajoz towns of Don Benito and Villanueva de la Serena, separated by 5 kilometers, is a recurring theme but it is the first time that specific aspects are made known and a roadmap is set to make it a reality. The mayors of both municipalities, José Luis Quintana and Miguel Ángel Gallardo, respectively, have announced that a popular consultation will be held in the second half of 2022, which will not be binding, to start the merger process, which would culminate in 2031 .

This alliance would mean creating the third most populous city in Extremadura (around 64,000 inhabitants), with which Mérida (around 60,000 people) would occupy the fourth place. The resulting locality would have a new denomination, its own town hall and a single mayor. In fact, the current councilors have promised not to present a candidacy for the elections of that year.

Political groups have given their support to this initiative, as well as the Junta de Extremadura, the Government of Spain, through the Ministry of Territorial Policy, and businessmen from Las Vegas Altas.

Regarding the impact of this decision in terms of wealth, economic activity and development on income, it would be an increase of 2.75 percent in household income; 5 percent in population with university studies, another 5 percent in employment, which would be 10 in the service sector and 15 in the business service sector.

The union between Don Benito and Villanueva de la Serena has had its comings and goings in local and regional politics since the arrival of democracy. After the PSOE coincided in both localities, it has returned to promote and work on this matter. At the beginning of 2021, the mayor of Don Benito, José Luis Quintana, explained in an interview in Extremadura that in recent years several joint actions have been carried out, such as the joint contracting of water treatment, or the works of the fire service with the Provincial Council of Badajoz. The two cities have also presented and developed joint projects through European funds.

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