Vila Real de Santo António and Ayamonte closer than ever

By Nelson Rodrigues [email protected]

The signing ceremony for Eurocity to celebrate the union of Ayamonte and Vila Real de Santo António was due to take place on Wednesday January 9, on board a boat on the Guadiana river, as the Algarve Resident went to press. This is the first meeting bringing together the Algarve, Alentejo and Andalucia in Spain.

António Luís Gomes, the president of Vila Real de Santo António Câmara and Antonio Javier Castillo, president of Ayamonte, were to be at the ceremony as signatories to the treaty.

Other state dignitaries included the Alentejo-Algarve-Andalucia Euroregion (Euro-AAA) president and chairman of the Commission of Coordination and Regional Development (CCDR), David Santos, and the Secretary of State for Local Administration and Administrative Reform, Paulo Simões Júlio.

The representatives from Spain included Maria Sol Garcia, General Secretary for External Action of the Andalucía Autonomous Region and José Fiscal, the Regional Government Representative of Andalucía parish in Huelva.

The creation of Eurocity (Eurocidade) is part of the plan presented by the president of CCDR Algarve during the Second Euroregion Meeting of the Council, when he assumed the two-year presidency of the Euro-AAA on September 28, 2012, in Seville.

This union between Ayamonte and Vila Real de Santo António is part of a project that “goes beyond institutional cooperation” and will “strengthen the already existing bond” between the two municipalities.

Eurocity is basically promoting economic, social, cultural and environmental convergence between the two cities.

This union will be beneficial for both parties as Portuguese and Spanish citizens will be able to use the facilities and services of both. It will also aid tourism, businesses and heritage.

“The ‘border’ is no longer an inconvenience; it is now an opportunity,” stated the CCDR Algarve.