A little over a week ago, it was announced that Empty Spain will compete in the next elections. The news did not take long to arouse opinions of all kinds. Especially against, those of those who were beginning to see seats in danger that they had always had more or less controlled. Among the criticisms that were exercised on the proposal of the Empty Spain platforms, the most notorious was that of being cantonalist. A parliamentary group from Emptied Spain, they say, would only ask for their ‘share of the cake’. A highway to such a province, a railway through which city, fiber optic extension in that town, etc. In short, nothing to contribute to the common affairs of all Spaniards. Those who deepened the criticism, saw in this proposal a new force that would come to complicate the, already difficult, political arithmetic in the Congress of Deputies.
A more exhaustive analysis of the trajectory of these social movements of Emptied Spain shows us a direction substantially different from the criticism previously exposed. Since that demonstration on March 31, 2019 in Madrid, in which all the platforms mobilized together against the institutional oblivion suffered by the depopulated provinces, their actions have been aimed at asking for joint solutions, which put localities aside. The development model that they presented together a few months ago and that they raise as a common roadmap, is a set of 101 measures that does not refer to any specific province but rather proposes solutions for all; but one more proof could still be added to these arguments. Since Teruel Existe entered the Congress and Senate, it has been able to combine very well the specific interests of its province with proposals and actions to reverse depopulation and territorial imbalance throughout the country.
The panorama of autonomous forces is certainly complex. On the one hand, regions with nationalist forces have for years negotiated support for governments, laws and budgets in exchange for investments beyond what is reasonable for their communities. On the other hand, the capital of the country is increasingly centralist and acts as a ‘vacuum’ of human resources and a large part of the economic development of the neighboring regions. Meanwhile, the provinces of Emptied Spain watch this battle with indignation. These territories, which carry a historical investment deficit, bear furiously the bartering of expensive investments in exchange for a small truce every time there is a negotiation between the central government and the nationalists. At the same time, they also have to put up with the fact that since the arrival of Ayuso to the presidency of the Community of Madrid, they intend to turn the capital into a tax haven that ends up attracting the last resources that the depopulated provinces conserve.
In the midst of this race for resources between nationalist regions and the Community of Madrid, Empty Spain is not only not a cantonalist proposal, but it is the mortar that can unite a country that at times seems irreconcilable. A proposal to reconcile positions within our national project. Faced with distributing the companies between Madrid, Catalonia or the Basque Country, the proposal of an industrialization of the Spanish inner belt. Faced with the dialectic of maintaining institutions in Madrid or taking them to Barcelona, opting for a ministry for each of the most depopulated provinces of Emptied Spain. In front of connecting all the roads through Madrid, a model of infrastructures. Faced with an AVE that attracts population to the origin and destination, but empties everything else, the commitment to an efficient, effective and sustainable modern conventional railway. Faced with struggles between the more developed communities, the bet that all the provinces converge.
An Ayuso voter would not support investing in nationalist regions just as a nationalist voter would not accept the tax exemption policy of the president of the Madrid community. However, this proposal to reconstruct Spain through the development of unpopulated areas is today the only one that could agree on a voter for Ayuso and a Basque or Catalan nationalist. When an agreement between these parties seems inconceivable, proposing a mutual cession that directs policy attention towards a territorial rebalancing project may be the key. The entry of Emptied Spain into politics can give us the recipe for conciliation that we have been looking for for so long in the country.