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Biscay approves the creation of the municipality of Usansolo

Guernica (Biscay) (EFE). – General Assemblies of Biscay They approved the separation of the urban center of Usansolo from the city council of Galdakao and welcomed the new municipality number 113 in the territory.

In a plenary meeting held at the Casa de Juntas de Gernika, 39 hunteros voted in favor of creating a new municipality (PNV, EH Bildu and Elkarrekin Podemos), 8 from the PSE-EE group voted against and two from the PP voted against. abstained.

They all congratulated the people of Ousanzolo for “their perseverance” and “their peaceful struggle for more than 30 years” for disengagement.

Prior to the vote, Elixabeth Echanobe, Official Deputy for Public Administration, recalled the findings of a commission set up in 2020 to examine the legal feasibility of changing the municipality of Galdakao and to test the economic sufficiency of both resulting municipalities.

“Today we will complete a long and difficult process, which should culminate in the final approval of the request of the Galdacao City Council to allocate part of its territory to create the new municipality of Usansolo,” he concluded.

Possible non-compliance with government regulation

After the vote, Socialist spokesman Juan Otermin warned that there was a government rule that was above the formal rule and prevented the creation of a new municipal area.

The reason is that Ousans currently has a population of only 4,520 and the law states that it has a population of 5,000 as a “minimum population requirement”.

Members of the Usansolo Herria platform celebrate the separation of the Usansolo urban center from the Galdakao city council and its establishment as an independent municipality. EFE/Miguel Toña

He assured that the provincial council has three legal reports that warn him of this violation.

He recalled that Ezquio Ixaso (Gipuzkoa) was in the same situation, where there were two independent municipalities for four years, and justice forced him to return to conformity as one when the detachment was canceled by the Supreme Court last year.

“We respect the request of citizens, but any demand must obey the law,” he warned.

congratulations from all groups

The PP congratulated the “democratic and peaceful efforts of the inhabitants” of the municipalities who promoted this popular initiative and congratulated them.

This group has affirmed that state law requires a minimum number of residents close to Usansolo’s figure and believes that, if allowed in the courts a few years later, it would exceed the required number.

EH Bildu and Elkarrekin Podemos also congratulated the supporters of the disengagement.

“The great day has finally arrived,” “everything was made possible by your perseverance,” in an open and open process that overcame “more than 30 years of obstacles that seemed insurmountable,” they were told.

Members of the Usansolo Herria platform gathered in front of the Gernika Assembly House to celebrate the separation of the Usansolo City Center from the Galdakao City Council. EFE/Miguel Toña

The PNV also congratulated the residents of what would become the territory’s new municipality, “who deserve every respect” for their work over the decades.

This party emphasized that after the second popular poll, in which 85% of the inhabitants of Usansolo expressed their desire to become a new municipality, the general deputy, Unai Rementeria, assured that they would be who they want to be, and, after that, it will be so.

Once approved in plenary, the agreement must be published in the Official Gazette of the Basque Country (BOPV) and the Official Gazette of Biscay, the Galdacao City Council, the Basque Government and the Spanish Government will be notified and then the Provincial Council must comply.

Emotions of the inhabitants of Usansolo

The inhabitants of Ousanzolo received a “historic” Galdakao (Biscay) segregation agreement with a “cocktail of emotions”.

Monica Mena, a spokesperson for the Usansolo Herria platform, who has two advisors in Galdakao, explained to EFE that today’s event is “historic” because after a four-decade process, the inhabitants have finally managed to become independent from Galdakao.

“Forty years of a long journey: fight, fight, overcome obstacles, show us that they were worth it,” Monica Mena was happy.

He added that “a lot of tears, a lot of laughter, a cocktail of sensations and emotions” are expected today to see “a dream come true.”

Two members of the Usansolo Herria platform celebrate the approval of the disconnection of the Usansolo urban center from the Galdakao EFE/Miguel Toña City Council

Mena affirmed that “Usans can only be administered as an independent municipality, as established by official regulation.”

Management Commission in Usansolo

From now on, a governing commission will be created, the composition of which will depend on the results of the elections that gave the ballot boxes in Usansolo in the last municipal elections.

The Commission will include eight representatives from Usansolo Herria, two from PNV and one from EH Bildu.

The manager, whose president will take over as mayor, will be responsible for “laying the groundwork” for what will become the Usansolo city council.

The segregation agreement coincides with the Galdakao coalition government led by E. H. Bildu, whose representatives took over the mayor’s office from the PNV and have always supported the disengagement process.

Íñigo Hernando, mayor of Galdacao, said the city council, so far also the first mayor of the people of Usanzolo, would be “on their side” so that they could complete their disengagement.

Disengagement, “an exercise in pure democracy”

Ousanzolo’s removal, he said, was the result of “an exercise in pure democracy.”

In March 2022, the city council organized a referendum in Ousanzolo, which ended with an overwhelming majority in favor of independence: 1,877 votes compared to 329 who chose to remain Galdakao residents.

During this mandate, Hernando recalled that the Galdacao city council, together with the provincial council of Biscay, created a commission to analyze the possibility of possible segregation.

After an exhaustive study, the commission determined that both territories are administratively and economically viable if they function independently.

Following the publication in the coming days of the favorable agreement of the General Assemblies of Biscay, a two-month period for accusations opens when the decision made today goes into effect.

Residents of Ousanzolo know that the opinion of the General Assembly of Biscay can be challenged by the central government, since Ousanzolo does not reach the population limit set by government regulations for segregation per 200 inhabitants.

“Now we’re going to celebrate it, and then whether they challenge or not, we’ll see what we do,” the Efe resident said, her eyes sparkling with emotion.

For now, they will celebrate the agreement in Usansolo, their municipality, with a chocolate party, a caravan of cars and a dance show.

The State Attorney will look into the case

The public prosecutor’s office will “thoroughly” analyze whether the creation of the new municipality of Biscay Ousanzolo violates the law on the basics of local regime, and depending on what is decided, “will act accordingly.”

This was stated in a statement to journalists by the representative of the government of the Basque Country, Denis Ixaso.

A government spokesman explained that two months have passed since the publication of this agreement of the councils in the Official Gazette of the Basque Country, and it is the State Attorney’s Office that will analyze “to what extent the creation or non-creation of this municipality violates or does not violate the Law on the Basics of Local Regime.

By Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at cablefreetv.org