A PETITION has been launched by a national Spanish-language group to stop Villajoyosa on the Costa Blanca being called by just its Valencian name of La Vila Joiosa.

The Hablamos Español association made the move after the council last month narrowly passed a motion to halt the official use of both names.

September’s plenary vote saw the ruling PSOE-Compromis-Gent per La Vila coalition get 11 votes for the change while the PP and Ciudadanos councillors mustered ten votes against the proposition.

Various legal hoops still have to be gone through including a financial impact study over how much it would cost the council to make La Vila Joiosa the sole name.

Hablamos Español president, Gloria Lago said: “We are getting a very good response from Villajoyosa citizens over the petition.”

The petition states that Villajoyosa has been in use as a name since 1300 and even spelt that way in Valencian language texts.

It calls for the use of both town names to continue and that ‘language is the word of speakers and cannot disappear at a stroke for ideological and political reasons’.

The irony in all of the debate is that pretty much everybody in the town and surrounding area refers to Villajoyosa as La Vila anyway.

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