Better internet, differentiated taxes, accessible health care! These are just 3 of the government’s 101 initiatives to stop the rural areas in Spain from “bleeding to death”. According to España Vaciada, action must be taken now.
Prime Minister Sánchez announced €10billion from European funds would be spent on combating the depopulation of the Spanish countryside. Depopulation has been a threat to many villages in Spain for years. The younger people are moving to big cities for work. Therefore the lagging population is aging and the crisis is getting worse every year, Spanish news site 20minutos.es writes.
Spain’s population has increased very locally since 1975
According to figures from the National Institute of Statistics, the population of Spain increased by 38% between 1975 and 2021. But this increase was far from evenly distributed. For example, the population in Zamora decreased by more than 31% compared to the population in the Balearic Islands doubling.
Without help, many Spanish rural areas will disappear within two years
Residents from the most depopulated places in Spain have united under the name España Vaciada. The organisation claims without action from the Spanish government, many villages are in danger of disappearing within two years.
Development plan depopulated Spain
On Saturday, Sánchez announced the document Modelo de desarrollo de la España Vaciada (Development model for depopulated Spain). Over the past eight months, more than 80 platforms and 160 organisations from 28 provinces have worked on the plan to combat rural depopulation. This document contains 101 concrete measures, the most important of which are listed below:
Tiered Taxation: Spain wants to offer people living in rural areas tax advantages over people living in more populated cities in Spain.
Improve internet: Spain is committed to implementing the previously presented plan that guarantees internet connection throughout Spain. This includes implementing 5G for all rural villages.
Improve mobility and health care: Spain previously presented a plan that would require people to travel no more than 30 minutes to access basic services and medical care.
More accessible and better education: through a curriculum that has already been implemented in Spanish cities, Spain wants to provide better education, and thus better future prospects, in the countryside.
Improving working conditions and protecting professions by attracting talent from the city to the countryside.
Renewable energy, sustainable tourism and organic farming must ensure that more people want to live in rural areas and that it is more attractive for tourists to go on holiday.