Fifty eight percent of the municipalities in the Alicante province have less than 5,000 inhabitants. In total throughout Spain there are 8,116 small towns, each with its own council, mayor, budget etc, each trying to provide the services that you would expect from your local council. Many are struggling and like Bigastro (which lies above that threshold with a pop. of over 7,000) are drowning in debt.
The government has now decided that this is an untenable situation and urges those small communities to merge to produce more viable units. However, as you might expect, there is some resistance to this suggestion. Towns, no matter how small, want to keep their own political make up, In particular they do not want to be merged with a council with a different political agenda.
The plan could effect savings of 10,500 million Euros which is a considerable sum in anyone's books but whether anything will come of it we will have to wait and see.