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Balanegra (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2019-01-13 by ivan sache
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Flag of Balanegra - Image from the Símbolos de Almería website, 9 May 2014

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Presentation of Balanegra

The municipality of Balanegra (2,835 inhabitants in 2014; 2,255 ha) is located 20 km from Berja. A submunicipal entity of Berja since 1987, Balanegra was granted the status of municipality by Decree No. 144, adopted on 2 June 2015 by the Government of Andalusia and published on 19 June 2015 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 118, pp. 8-19 (text), ending a ten-year struggle.

The request of establishment of the new municipality was submitted on 8 June 2005 by the legal representative of the Village Commission of Balanegra. The Government required on 29 June 2005 the approval by the Provincial Council of Almería, as requested by law, which was obtained on 30 March 2006.
The request was rejected by Decree No. 82, adopted on 20 March 2007 by the Government of Andalusia and published on 10 April 2007 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 70 (text). The population of the village - 2,526 inhabitants, as certified on 2 May 2004 by the village administration; 2,562 inh., as published in 2005 by the Andalusian Statistics Institutes, was below the threshold legally required to establish a new municipality (4,000 inh.). The threshold is reduced to 2,500 in specific conditions, which were not fulfilled by Balanegra.

The appeal submitted to the Superior Court of Justice of Andalusia was partially accepted on 2 December 2013; considering that Balanegra actually fulfilled the conditions required to use the 2,500 inh. threshold, the Court declared the previous Decree null and void and ordered the administration to reconsider the separation request at its early convenience. The reactivation of the procedure was ordered by a Resolution of the Government of Andalusia adopted on 17 February 2014 and published on 3 March 2014 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 41, p. 76 (text).

The commission promoting the establishment of the municipality was required on 4 March 2014 to update the memoir supporting the request; the updated documentation was submitted the next day to the Directorate General of the Local Administration. Hearings were initiated on 10 March 2014, for a period of four months, in the municipality of Berja and in the neighbouring municipalities of Adra, El Ejido and Dalías.
The Municipal Council of Berja, in the session held on 7 July 2014, rejected the separation of Balanegra; signed on 9 July 2014, the document was forwarded on 15 July 2014 to the Directorate General of the Local Administration. The Municipal Council argued that the economical data supporting the separation had not been updated since the 2005 original submission; accordingly, the economical sustainability of the proposed municipality could not be properly assessed. The updated document was submitted on 25 August 2014. Based on the recommendations of different agencies and institutes, the Government eventually validated the request of establishment of Balanegra as a separate municipality.

Ivan Sache, 17 September 2015

Flag of Balanegra

The flag of Balanegra, adopted on 5 October 2010 by the Village Council and submitted on 31 January 2011 to the Directorate General of the Local Administration, is prescribed by a Resolution adopted on 8 February 2011 by the Directorate General of the Loal Administration and published on 24 February 2011 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 39, p. 51 (text). This was confirmed by a Resolution adopted on 30 November 2004 by the Government of Andalusia and published on 20 December 2004 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 246, pp. 28,986-29,002 (text).
The flag is described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular flag with proportions 3:2 (length to width), divided into two horizontal stripes by a wavy line, the lower stripe white and the upper stripe blue. In the center of the flag is placed the local coat of arms.

The coat of arms of Balanegra, approved on 6 August 1997 by the Municipal Council, is prescribed by Decree No. 230, adopted on 10 November 1997 by the Government of Andalusia and published on 5 December 1998 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 139, pp. 14,971-14,972 (text).
The coat of arms is described as follows:

Coat of arms: Per fess, 1a. Gules a tower argent, 1b. Vert a noria or, 2. Azure three fesses wavy argent cantonned by a sun. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown.

The tower represents the Alhamilla Tower, today ruined, as a symbol of integrity and vigilance. The noria was essential for the human settlements in the late 19th and early 20th century. The waves represent the local beaches, while the sun alludes to the future of the population.
[Símbolos de las Entidades Locales de Andalucía. Almería (PDF file)]

Klaus-Michaesl Schneider & Ivan Sache, 11 October 2012