Neither Concordia del Guadiana nor Mestas del Guadiana. The decision announced yesterday by the committee of experts created for this purpose so that the municipal corporations decide between these two terms has not been welcomed by the residents of both towns in the province of Badajoz. The main criticisms come from Don Benito – who already garnered very tight and controversial results in the vote for the merger – but there is no satisfaction in Villanueva de la Serena either. In fact, last night, and after announcing both proposals, the mayors of Badajoz José Luis Quintana and Miguel Ángel Gallardo, together with members of said committee, left the municipal facilities escorted by the Police in the midst of great tension at the doors of the meeting room. plenary sessions of the Donbeniten town council. Around a hundred people had gathered there hours before against the merger and the protests included caceroladas’ and whistles. When the selected names were known, the protests intensified.

Since the night of the referendum, and due to the management of the recount process – without any information on the result in Don Benito for more than two hours – a series of groups have been organized in this city against the merger, considering it a ” pout.” Officially, in Don Benito the established 66% of votes in favor were officially exceeded by very little, and the information blackout -which began when the established percentage was not reached-, contrary to what happened in Villanueva, where the 90% was exceeded. % in favor. it triggered the suspicions, always denied by both mayors and by the officials at the head of the process. In the end, it was admitted that the null votes were annulled from the recount and then the percentage did exceed the limit established for the merger to go ahead.

As if that weren’t enough, the two toponyms chosen last night have multiplied the protests, considering that neither of them represents the spirit or the idiosyncrasy of both cities. Initially, the name of Vegas del Guadiana had been considered, which seemed to have a broad social consensus, but it has finally been discarded. And the protests have multiplied. In fact, a cacerolada has already been announced for next Saturday at 12:30 pm in the Plaza de España de Don Benito whose motto is “we are not from Concordia del Guadiana, we are not from Mestas del Guadiana, we are from Don Benito”.

The committee selected by both city councils had met on numerous occasions for more than two months to make such a decision and they even asked that the initially planned period be extended by two more weeks to make the decision. The announcement was scheduled for May 14 and was not made public until last night.

The spokesman for the commission of experts, Julio Carmona, explained that “in the two chosen toponyms the reference to Guadiana appears, a hydronym that unites the two towns with greater intensity and strength from all possible perspectives and values: geographical, historical, cultural and economic”. But hardly anyone is satisfied and far from it seems to have awakened some kind of illusion in the face of the process that still remains in the face of the final merger in five years. In addition, said committee has proposed place names for the two possibilities: mestenses or mestanos and mestanas, in the case of Mestas del Guadiana, and concordense in Concordia del Guadiana.

After having to leave the municipal offices escorted, the mayor of Villanueva de la Serena, Miguel Ángel Gallardo, expressed his respect with “the discrepancies” but also rejected the insults “due to the lack of arguments.” In this sense, he defended the “total freedom” and “zero pressure” with which he assures that the 14 members of the expert commission, made up of professionals who belong to fields related to teaching, philology, history or research, have worked. , in addition to the two chroniclers of the city.

In addition, the alderman said that after knowing the selected names “the history of the book that was born on February 20 of the will of the people continues to be written” and wanted to specify that “it has been an honest and democratic process.” At the same time, he added that “the expectation is understandable”, regarding the uncertainty of the men, but praised “the formidable work” of the members of the commission, who have done “with the utmost discretion” and without “being nothing leaked.”

Gallardo assured that he “likes” the two names because, in his opinion, they have a “common thread of respect for the history and unity of the Guadiana”, and although he tends to be “shocked” by some people, when they start to sound, he is convinced that They will identify with the one who is elected.

For his part, the mayor of Don Benito, José Luis Quintana, defended the “documented and argued” work of the commission and has described this decision “as one more step” and has warned that it will not stop “until the merger is achieved”.

From now on, it will be the councilors of both local corporations, who plan to hold both plenary sessions at the same time, who decide in a vote which name of the two is finally chosen when the merger occurs.

Conforms to The Trust Project criteria