The latest phenomenon in Spanish politics promises to shake the foundations of Madrid’s court and serve as an electoral measurer of what could turn out to be a substantive change in the way in which citizens less listened to represent themselves in Parliament, having an active voice in legislative production and in the strategic orientation of the country.
It is called España Vaciada (Empty Spain) and brings together 140 anonymous platforms that bring together the interests of at least 30 regions. This movement, succeeded by the pioneers “Soria YA” and “Teruel Existe”, even managed to elect a deputy, representing the latter organization, which would prove to be decisive in guaranteeing the formation of the Government of Pedro Sánchez. The objective now is to transform this torrent of wills into a global party and influence previous changes. Claiming power where everything is decided.
So what do these forgotten rural Spaniards stand for? Nothing revolutionary: they want to be heard, they want the area of territory that does not inspire electoral proclamations and programs to be attended to. Example: one in five residents in this depopulated Spain does not have access to the Internet. Not that I don’t want to. Simply because it doesn’t exist.
Let’s take this example and adapt it to Portugal, where the depopulation of the Interior has reached a point of no return. In reality, we are no different from the Spaniards. Among us, too, there is no agenda for the abandoned territory, for its people, for its problems. Politics is exercised by city people for city people. The increasingly high population on the coast has made urban problems become everyone’s problems. For this reason, and while regionalization continues to be pushed to the ground, it would not be bad if, as in Spain, we could have someone to speak for those who, not being second-class citizens, are hopelessly relegated to the drawer of political ethnography.
* Associate Director