Berja fights Balanegra independence

Julen Iturbe-Ormaetxe on Flickr

CATALUÑA does not have a monopoly on separatist sentiments.
Balanegra has them, too. Until now the small town, which has a population of 2,835, was a suburb of Berja (population 12,488) but recently declared a municipality in its own right.
Balanegra is satisfied with the new arrangement after negotiating for independence from Berja for more than 10 years. Berja, however, is still not reconciled to the separation and intends to lodge an appeal with the Andalucia Upper Court of Justice (TSJA).
“We are working on the appeal now,” said Berja’s relected mayor Antonio Torres, who explained that the town hall would go first to the TSJA. “But we’ll take it to the very top if necessary,” Torres declared.
“We shall accept what the courts say, not a caretaker government,” the mayor said in an allusion to the fact that the separation announcement was made before the regional president Susana Diaz was sworn in.
Although 70 per cent of Balanegra residents backed separation, Torres has never hidden his opposition to the move. “The current tendency is to merge town halls, not the opposite,” he argues. The most important thing for Balanegra was receiving the best possible services “regardless of who provides them.”


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