Spanish regional president asks young people to clean mountains against fires

by Lorraine Williamson
young people with eco-fear asked to help

LEón – After President García Gallardo of Castilla y León took it upon himself to ask young people to clean the mountains. However, he has been bombarded with criticism as outraged reactions immediately flooded social media. 

“A man who gets paid without working for it, asks people to work without getting paid.” Juan García-Gallardo, also regional VOX leader, criticised young people who are concerned about the climate crisis. This was in response to a report by the newspaper Público about eco-anxiety among young people. Anxiety affects more and more young people and overwhelms them with a lack of perspective about an uncertain future. Furthermore, governments seem to have no answer to this.

Forest workers, firefighters, and hundreds of civilians, have demanded effective government responses to the disasters that hit the community’s forests. Instead, the VOX leader, profoundly lacking in empathy, has asked youths experiencing fear in the face of the climate emergency to sign up to carry out fire prevention work in the mountains of Castilla y León. 

Young people suffering eco-fear should volunteer

“If you suffer from eco-anxiety, volunteer to carry out fire prevention work in the region’s mountains. I have no proof. But I also do not doubt that after a few months of work, your eco-anxiety will be over. And the nonsense too,” García-Gallardo wrote on Twitter. 

It seems like a bad joke in the context of the situation. Particularly as his government is constantly being criticised for the lack of firefighting and prevention. Something of which tragic consequences can be seen, especially this summer. Nearly 60,000 hectares were lost to fire in Zamora province alone. 

That’s why it rained reactions to the Tweet from the vice president and VOX leader. Also from other politicians such as Íñigo Errejón. He pointed out: “Basically, the gentleman who has changed from paid by father’s company to paid as vice president with no powers, sends others to the mountains to work. In particular, to mountains that were burned because his government would not hire firefighters .” 

@ZuriLanda says: I have no proof, but I also have no doubt that you are a wretch, chosen by other wretches like you. 

@Panik81 says: The symbolic vice president with no powers who gets a pile of money to heat an armchair says you should go clean the mountains for free. 

@gmaemejota writes: Because doing your job as a vice president that charges you a huge amount and making sure there is a team of forest firefighters looking after the mountains all year long hasn’t crossed your mind, has it? 

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