‘30-minute rule’ for basic amenities in the Spanish countryside

by Lorraine Williamson
the 30-minute rule

MADRID – The Prime Minister of Spain wants people in rural Spain, wherever they live, to have all essential services available. This means education, health care and banks must be included in the 30-minute rule.

Pedro Sánchez (PSOE) is therefore betting on the 30-minute rule to guarantee equality in the countryside. He said this on Saturday morning during an election campaign performance in Úbeda, in the province of Jaén. His political formation PSOE announced the intention on Twitter too. 

The Prime Minister pointed out one of the problems that increasingly concerns Spanish regions. This was depopulation and the lack of resources for people who still live in rural areas. Sánchez did admit that he sees the 30-minute rule as quite a challenge. Still, according to him, it is “fundamental in the pursuit of territorial equality between the countryside and the major cities in our country”. 

“We as an organisation are taking on the challenge of building a country where there are not two, three or four speeds, but where citizens, wherever they live, especially in rural areas, have all essential services less than 30 minutes away: health, education, banking….” 

Related post: More than half of Spanish municipalities no longer have a bank branch

The commitment to the “rural world”, which Sánchez has referred to several times this morning, concerns an increasing percentage of the Spanish population, according to huffingtonpost.es. That is why politicians of all formations are enthusiastically using the theme with the upcoming municipal elections in mind. 

Demographic challenge and rural policy 

During his speech, the President of Spain also alluded to the €900 million invested in ultra-fast rural broadband connections. This will benefit more than 4.7 million people. “With all this, I am telling you that the policy of demographic challenge and rural areas is a state policy for this government and that I am committed to the end with that policy,” said Sánchez. 

Announced rule more symbolic than normative 

According to AS, this line by Sánchez has more symbolic than normative weight. The prime minister uses it to demonstrate precisely the shortcomings of the Partido Popular in its candidacy for the region. That party is accused of “dismantling the park of public services” and the welfare state. The president has defended in his speech in Úbeda that the socialists manage the economy better than the PP and that they are carrying out “an expansion of social services”. 

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