Once the Concordia del Guadiana and Mestas del Guadiana have been ruled out, proposals from a committee of experts that did not obtain social support, the merger between Don Benito and Villanueva de la Serena now has a name, Vegas Altas, which is precisely the region where are located. The place name seems to have consensus and has been one of the most discussed in recent weeks after conducting several surveys among the citizens of both locations. Now, it must be ratified by both municipal plenary sessions after a meeting held this morning by the board of spokespersons of both municipalities, from which the proposal has come. It should be noted that the name ‘Vegas Altas’ already exists in the province of Badajoz as a district of Navalvillar de Pela.

Both cities have large extensions that were once transformed into irrigated land and have given rise to a reparcelled landscape of many plains, thanks to a network of new settlements that made up ten new local entities (Valdivia, Entrerríos, Zurbarán, Vivares, Ruecas, Hernán Cortés, Conquista del Guadiana, Gargáligas, El Torviscal and Valdehornillos) created in the 50s and 60s of the last century, as a result of this new agricultural use of irrigation. “With the merger they will be the municipality with the largest irrigated area in all of Spain,” warns Professor of Geography Julián Mora Aliseda.

In 2027, when the merger is official, the new city will add around 64,000 inhabitants, with the added advantages of exceeding the range of 50,000, both for state and European funds allocated, in addition to those incorporated by Law 27/2013 for the mergers.

“Accepted the proposed name of Vegas, with the compound of ‘Altas'”, said Julián Mora, who considers that the new term “will not raise suspicions”. For this expert, “Vegas is justified for geographical, historical, social, economic and territorial reasons” as opposed to “Mestas del Guadiana and Concordia del Guadiana, which made no sense or compelling arguments for it,” he reflects.

The associations of businessmen and freelancers of Don Benito and Villanueva de la Serena have appeared this Wednesday at a joint press conference to reiterate their “unconditional” support after the controversy that arose after the votes where part of the population, especially in Don Benito , the city with the largest number of inhabitants, has mobilized against the forms used for the merger.

In fact, the result of the popular consultation in various groups in this city has even been questioned after the portal was blocked due to a “computer error” -it was argued- where the data could be followed live, which is not happened with the consultation in Villanueva. After more than two hours of ‘blackout’, the ‘yes’ vote won, by a very small percentage in a recount where there was a lack of transparency and went ahead by 41 votes after making the decision to annul the null votes to reach 66.27% (there had been 66% was established as the limit for the merger to go ahead in both locations). In Villanueva, it exceeded 90% of the votes cast.

At the businessmen’s act held today, they have read a manifesto in which they are convinced that the opportunities that will open up for businessmen “will be many”, for which they believe that the union will generate a focus “more attractive” for new companies to set up in the new city. “All this will have a positive impact on the economic expansion of the region, will prevent the flight of young talent and will help to fix the population,” says the manifesto.

In this sense, the president of Apyme Vegas Altas-La Serena, Javier Dorado, has affirmed that he has observed “division of opinions” in this regard, for which he sees it as important to once again reiterate the support of the business organizations of both locations in the face of a decision, that of the union, which they call “difficult and courageous”.

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