Spokespersons for Teruel Existe, Soria NOW! and Burgos Repuebla, members of the Empty Spain Coordinator, have participated this Thursday in the first of a series of debate sessions on the challenges of interior Spain organized by elDiario.es. In a round table, the three have defended that their groups are committed to a “common” and “transversal” agenda that aspires to raise their voice against territorial imbalance and depopulation and that it operates outside of “provincialism”.
Carlos Martínez, mayor of Soria: “The challenge of interior Spain is not only demographic, but also a change of model”
“If this small social movement wants to do something, it is to join forces towards an agreement within a bipolarized and ideological political spectrum. Teruel Existe has been demonstrating transversality for twenty years. Provincialisms, none. We are talking about State issues, “said Amado Goded, spokesman for the group that, after two decades of activism against depopulation, arrived almost two years ago at the Congress of Deputies in the form of a group of voters with Tomás Guitarte at the helm.
Toño Palomar, spokesperson for Soria ¡YA !, has left the door open for this association, with almost twenty years of experience, to make the leap to institutional politics and has insisted on the idea of cross-cutting demands that affect these sparsely populated territories . “All platforms have more or less the same problems, that is our strength. We are not localists or cantonalists. We defend a more balanced country model, which is not now structured ”, he asserted.
For his part, Salomón Ortega, president of Burgos Repuebla, an association created in 2017, explained that the objective of his group is “to make the population aware of the problem of depopulation” and that the decision has not yet been made whether to try or not take the step to institutional politics. However, it has insisted that the objective of the Emptied Spain Coordinator, of which Burgos Repuebla is a part, is “to fight for the issues of emptied Spain, the commons that affect the depopulated provinces.” “We have a development model for the entire country,” he reiterated.
The round table also included the participation of the sociologist José Pablo Ferrándiz, director of the consultancy Elemental Research, who has predicted that the success of these platforms will depend precisely on their transversality. In his opinion, there are two conditions for a platform such as the Coordinadora de la España Vaciada to be able to have electoral success. On the one hand, that these entities are capable of convincing citizens without locating themselves on the left-right axis and focusing on “a different and transversal concern”. And, on the other, that they can save the determining factor of the electoral system in these territories, where the price of the seat is very high.
The objective of these elDiario.es meetings, which will cover the geography of inland Spain, is to find out the demands, problems and obstacles that make the demographic challenge one of the challenges of Spanish society, and a opportunity for improvement for its inhabitants. The third vice president of the Government and minister for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, Teresa Ribera, will close this first day that is held in Soria, the most depopulated province of Spain.
During the day, members of the autonomous government of Castilla y León, mayors, companies, experts, teachers … and also the people who live in these places and who have spent decades seeing how the lack of infrastructure, resources and of opportunities depopulates territories.