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The independent republic (and well-fed) of The Line

With a goliath grouper in the province of cadiz, in The Line of Conception as there are those who call their mayor “the Puigdemont of the South”. But little jok

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The independent republic (and well-fed) of The Line

With a goliath grouper in the province of cadiz, in The Line of Conception as there are those who call their mayor “the Puigdemont of the South”. But little joke, because John Franco girdle to those who criticize: “I'm totally serious”. While the big parties campaign for the Elections in Andalusia, the commissioner of the local party Line 100 x100 has announced a proposal unexpected: applying the independence of the municipality under the status of autonomous city.

The movement's institutional has been accompanied by another, which emerged on the social networks, that has delivered more than 4,000 ballots null and void for this coming Sunday and ask for “differential treatment” to The Line. The two initiatives have a common root: the glutton at the lack of responses to the situation facing the town. “I have proposed that we constitute ourselves as independent city because we have a unique situation to the rest of the municipalities, and we need a solution also unique,” explains Franco.

THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE ANDALUSIAN PROVINCES

Source: INE D. ALAMEDA / J. GALÁN / THE COUNTRY

In the PP, partners of government of mayor —of the 15 departments, five are of the popular— Betmatik reject the approach, which they call"populism pork-barrel". The opposition, led by the PSOE, also opposes it. "There has to be a sensible and feet on the ground. I understand that the mayor will burn, but what you ask for-you may get with the special plan for the city that raised the PP just before the motion of censure of Sanchez”, explains Juan Pablo Arriaga, spokesman and candidate of the PP to the Municipal.

A town without hardly any municipality that may receive investments; an endemic unemployment that hovers around 30 %; a situation on the border with the british colony of Gibraltar, which generates more than 8,000 jobs, but also problems of tobacco smuggling; trafficking of hashish with Morocco, which lost to generations and entire neighborhoods. The ruler lists these and other problems —such as the historical and worrying levels of pollution— as justification enough for an idea that, in his Government team, lead by ruminating for a while.

The feeling of exceptionality, for good and for evil, is not new among the inhabitants of a city, which, for centuries, punctuated by the character that imposes a border. Especially if after that fence the neighbours the british have a per capita income that is three times the linense (64.315 euros, compared to 23,000 euros, according to estimates by 2016), are the major employers in The Line and is budding a Brexit with uncertain consequences. However, the flame that has lit the fuse of independence occurred the past November 16, when the Spanish Government introduced a special plan for the Field of Gibraltar that provides for the injection of 1,000 million to the area.

The linenses soon passed from illusion to disappointment to see that the document contains little investment for the city, beyond the police reinforcement or the creation of a new court. “It has been the last straw. Or give us the fish or the rod to fish,” he explains with indignation the mayor. Last Tuesday, November 20, just four days later, Franco announced by surprise by the proposal that aims to hold on to the article 144 of the Spanish Constitution. In it, establishing the possibility, by means of an organic law, the creation “of an autonomous community when its territorial area does not exceed that of a province.”

The ruler knows that the start of the process would not be simple. “It is complicated, but not impossible,” acknowledges Frank, attorney at Law. According to the article 141 of the Constitution, "any alteration of provincial boundaries must be approved by the Cortes Generales through an organic act". The political will include your idea in the electoral programme for the upcoming municipal elections and also not rule out that, once all the studies, they perform some kind of consultation between the linenses to endorse the process.

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The first step for the Council will be to develop a feasibility study on conversion in the third autonomous city. Franco believes that, with independence, could articulate measures for the revitalization of the city that have been around for years without materializing, such as a tax regime for the city or the establishment of wage supplements for officials who have access to posts in the town.

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