Updated Wednesday, June 9, 2021 –

The Espaa Vaciada I presented at the end of May the Development model that proposes to repopulate the territories that have been abandoned by the citizens, but also in part -which is both a cause and a consequence of this- by the Administration. In the document, of more than 300 pages, eight work tables, dozens of proposals and a hundred measures are established, ranging from structuring the territory with trains and roads to lowering taxes or establishing aid for rural pharmacies.

“To speak of Emptied Spain is to speak of those territories that have been progressively losing population since the middle of the 20th century, affected by economic and structural policies that have facilitated territorial imbalance, the concentration of the population in large cities and certain geographical areas, and they have caused the decline of these territories, massively losing population, services, infrastructures and opportunities “, explains the report.

“For decades the depopulated areas of rural areas in Spain have suffered a negative demographic trend,” they continue. “In this scenario of demographic and territorial crisis, it has been necessary to rigorously analyze the key elements of the problem and the territorial dynamics, as well as to evaluate and rethink the public policies that up to now have been designed and implemented by the State to address territorial and regional imbalances. rural problems “.

The platforms that make up the Espaa Vaciada movement denounce in the document that “too many times the political has focused on the government of large cities and it has left aside the small cities and municipalities of the rural world. “It is time to reverse the situation.”

Thus, they consider that “urgent measures” must be adopted that serve both to reverse “the causes that have caused this evolution” and “the social, economic and territorial consequences that derive from it.” These areas, they recall, play a “multifunctional” role in that they provide food while caring for the environment and heritage.

One of the requests that are made is that the problem of depopulation is approached with a State Pact: “We are facing a problem with state magnitudes that can only be solved with state agreements.” The “serious territorial imbalance”, they warn, “not only threatens the survival of many territories, but also aggravates the living conditions of the people who inhabit it with the progressive deterioration of public services and the loss of social rights.”

Likewise, the document intends to modify Article 138 of the Constitution, which refers to the principle of solidarity between territories, to “demand a special consideration of unpopulated territories and lacking economic activity correlative to their territory.” In this sense, the creation of an independent body called the National Agency against Depopulation is also proposed.

Bet on renewable energy

There are also a series of proposals and measures regarding renewable energy, although they are always made by adding a small -but important- asterisk: that generates employment in the environment and that with this, or another measure, the impact on the landscape or ecosystems is compensated.

“The energy transition appears today as a need that must be addressed as a country”, recognize the organizations. However, “the way to carry it out may be a great advance or damage for certain areas of Emptied Spain”, they explain. An example is “the mega-infrastructures that hardly generate any type of employment in the area once they are built but that have a more than considerable ecological impact“.

“Rural tourism is one of the industries that sustain the economic fabric of Emptied Spain, and the beauty of rural landscapes is one of the attractions on which these businesses are based,” argues the document. Thus, it is proposed, among other solutions, “free energy for the inhabitants of territories where energy generating parks are established” that could serve “as an incentive to settle the population and attract new settlers and entrepreneurs.”

In this sense, they recall that the economic benefit resulting from this activity “is not poured into the area, but enters the coffers of large business conglomerates located many kilometers from rural areas.”

Services, infrastructure and culture

The dozens of proposals in terms of services and infrastructures are defined in the so-called Plan 100/30/30, which aims that all rural and urban areas have a minimum of 100 megabytes of Internet connection (that is, broadband) and that they have guaranteed access to “health, educational, social, cultural, leisure and security services citizen “in a trip that takes at most 30 minutes. Likewise, they should be a maximum of 30 kilometers away from at least one high-capacity road.

The idea is also carried over to the education, whose laws they want to modify to establish a minimum of three students to maintain an open school “in order to avoid discriminatory territorial situations.” That same minimum would also be set for the reopening of a center. In Compulsory Secondary Education and subsequent training cycles, thirty kilometers or minutes are once again suggested as a scale and it is also requested that investment be made in distance education and that universities move away from large cities.

Baza region in Granada.Alberto Di LolliTHE WORLD

For its part, access to culture will be about guaranteeing through an “adequate supply”, but also making available to the population “well-equipped multifunctional spaces adapted to the different existing demands.” Likewise, a regulation is proposed that establishes that 30% of cultural performances programmed by public administrations (“especially those related to music, performing arts and exhibitions”) are carried out in Espaa Vaciada.

“A decentralized culture is a more accessible and egalitarian culture for citizens, a culture that does not discriminate by place of origin and is enjoyed throughout the country,” they maintain. “It has been pointed out on many occasions how culture generates a more active and critical citizenry, with more diversified interests and new vital motivations,” they explain. For this reason, he considers that “better access to culture, in all its forms, is essential to revitalize Emptied Spain and provide it with the opportunities it deserves.”

Pharmacies and health centers

With regard to Health, measures ranging from Universal Clinical History to providing rural primary care with resources and personnel that meet “the required quality standards” are listed (a series of essential basic equipment for medical clinics is listed). and rural health centers) or remedy the fact that health workers have to pay for travel in their own vehicle.

In addition, the importance of rural pharmacies is highlighted: “Often, the pharmacy professional is the only toilet that remains in the population continuously“, argues the Development Model. The document also recalls that these people have” a greater involvement in health education, also exercising important social work “, something that was evident in this pandemic.

Many of these pharmacies in rural areas, they lament, “are classified as ‘compromised economic viability’ and receive a small financial compensation at the state level that is often insufficient.” Thus, they consider that its viability must be guaranteed.

Tax benefits and aid

Espaa Vaciada proposes to dedicate 1% of the annual Gross Domestic Product to the fight against depopulation, but a series of fiscal benefits and aid are also proposed so that these areas can retain and attract population and industry.

“A scarce and dispersed population causes much greater difficulties for the provision of the same level of public services,” they explain. Therefore, in these areas there are “a level of services lower than that obtainable in the urban world“. This is the reason why they consider that” it is a correlative action of justice that its inhabitants have a lower tax with respect to the taxable events contemplated by the different taxes, fundamentally the Income Tax, the Corporation Tax and the VAT ” .

With regard to industry, they believe that it is “evident” that with the application of tax benefits “citizens and / or the business community can be promoted or encouraged to locate in rural areas.” It will seek to encourage the hiring of “workers residing in rural areas” and the transfer of workers to it.

One of the proposals is to make companies receive bonuses in the Social Security contributions of their workers. Not all, of course: only those that are installed in towns with less than 1,000 inhabitants and that have at least 70% of their employees residing in the same town or neighboring towns (also with less than 1,000 inhabitants and as long as they are more than 15 kilometers from the provincial capital).

Thus, if they were municipalities of 100 inhabitants or less the bonus would be 80% of the quota, while in the case of those with 500 inhabitants it would be 70% if the worker is male and 80% if the worker is a woman and 60% and 70% in those with less than 1,000 . Said percentages “will increase by 4% on the assumption that the municipalities of residence of all these workers are more than 75 kilometers from the capital of the province or from a population nucleus of industrial strength and with more than 100,000 inhabitants. “.

Proposals are also offered for larger towns and even the promotion of community projects. coworking Y coliving. There is also talk of promoting free rural entrepreneurship, either with consumer vouchers for zero kilometer products or with areas with benefits “of up to 100% or a maximum of 30,000 euros accumulated in direct taxes” for the self-employed and SMEs that establish themselves in them.

Housing is another of the pillars of repopulation, and for this reason the Model will try to make its acquisition more attractive with aid and tax benefits. Therefore, it is proposed to suppress the Tax on Patrimonial Transmissions if the property is in a municipality with less than 1,000 inhabitants (provided that the purchase is made in order to exploit it according to its nature).

All this, in addition, will also be done with an awareness aspect: the platform seeks to make known the problem of Emptied Spain and its challenges as part of the theme of education. And, ultimately, “promote rural pride and roots.” In this way you can “end the complex and the bad image existing in rural areas, which are perceived as backward and anchored in the past, when they constitute a way of life with expectations for the future and quality of life. “

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