Spanish regional presidents agree on ’empty Spain’

by Lorraine Williamson
presidents agree on empty Spain plan
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MADRID – The presidents of 8 Spanish regions signed an agreement this week on tackling `empty Spain´. There are a total of 35 action points that should ensure, among other things, that government funding is distributed more fairly among the Spanish regions. 

It was ‘a challenge’ to get the regional presidents of eight autonomous regions, and of three different political parties, to a table. And, furthermore, to get them to reach an agreement on ‘España vaciada’, or the depopulation of the Spanish countryside. 

Spanish regions and parties are done with unfair financing 

The unequal distribution of the population in Spain across the 17 autonomous regions has led several parties to say “basta”. This is because they feel disadvantaged about the distribution of public finances to tackle this problem. Consequently, the regional presidents of the eight regions concerned recently met in Santiago de Compostela. 

Actual costs regions in Spain must be covered 

The Presidents of Aragon, Castile-La Mancha, Castile and León, Asturias, Extremadura, La Rioja, Cantabria, and Galicia reached agreement. And, furthermore, signed an agreement with 35 action points and a common objective; a fairer, more balanced, and sound financing of the autonomous regions covering the ‘actual cost of the services’. 

Furthermore, all action points are stated in this Spanish-language agreement. Briefly, the action points fall under the following headings: 

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Depopulation 

The eight regions mentioned represent 62% of Spain’s territory, but only 24% of Spaniards live here. Some points to make life more attractive in these areas are free nursery access for children from 0 to 3. The services of banks and pharmaceutical services in these areas are also guaranteed (at least digitally). 

Equity and direct management of funding funds 

Therefore, the Spanish government must start quickly with fairer financing for the regions. This new model must take into account the demographic distribution and needs of the people who live there. The regional presidents also want the management of the European Next Generation funds to be changed so that the regions themselves have access to the direct management of half of the funds. 

Healthcare 

The eight presidents have requested the Spanish government to create new doctor’s practices and to train extra people to become doctors. This is due to the fact that many people in these regions will retire in the coming years. Aging comes with its shortcomings and people can no longer drive long distances to pay a short visit to the doctor. The over-85s will be thoroughly analysed in the coming years and it will be examined exactly how much and what care they need. 

Green economy 

An economic transition must be made to a greener and more sustainable model. Especially for the workers affected by changes in production systems, appropriate measures must be taken to prevent the negative consequences for business and industry. 

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