Broadband for empty Spain | Society

The demographic strategy in Spain has as a priority to provide broadband coverage of high speed and mobile telephony to all territories that are still in technological darkness. The aim is to encourage economic activity in the most unpopulated areas of Spain, which extend for 70% of the country. This was said this Wednesday morning the commissioner for the Demographic Challenge, Isaura Leal, in the Senate, where he reiterated that the strategy must be prepared by the spring of 2019, because "it is a question of equal rights and does not admit delays, "and has opted to develop policies to encourage births.

Leal has indicated that "53% of Spain is at risk of severe depopulation", since 90% of the population (42 million inhabitants) resides in 1,500 municipalities that are concentrated in 30% of the territory. It has highlighted the aging of the Spanish population, with 1.2 people over 65 years of age for every child under 15, and that the depopulated areas are being "masculinized". These are the data of what has been called, following the title of the writer Sergio del Molino, The empty Spain.

OROne of the priorities, according to Leal, to face the demographic challenge will be comply with the European Digital Agenda and extend the coverage of digital broadband of 30 megabytes per second to all, to "overcome the obstacles that geography has put to the most remote areas" as an element of "stability and motivation for entrepreneurs" . In addition, it has warned of the "extra costs" that generate the dispersion and the floating population to the autonomous communities and the small municipalities, and has recognized that fiscal restructuring will be necessary to face the demographic challenge.

Leal has warned that the aging of the population is increasing and has detailed that currently there are 5,864 municipalities in which one in three over 65 years has already exceeded the threshold of 80 years. He added that "in almost 1,000 municipalities, half of its seniors exceeds 80" and that "in 4,800 municipalities, more than half, this aging rate already exceeds the two largest for each child under 15 years." "In almost 3,000 municipalities there are four over 65 for each child under 15. And in 1,039 Spanish municipalities the ratio is already over 12 over 65 for every child under 15," he said.

"Our example is France," said the commissioner, who stressed that the French population policies have made the population grow at a rate of 1% per year in the last decade. Against the French data, has warned that depopulation in Spain "is not a legacy of the sixties", since 5,032 of the 8,124 existing municipalities have lost population in the last decade and almost 4,000 are less than 1,000 inhabitants.

During his speech before the special commission on demographic evolution in Spain, Leal has stressed the importance of working in coordination with all the ministries, territorial and local administrations to address public policies that affect infrastructure, transportation or housing, among other matters .

PP senator Antonio Angel Clemente has demanded birth policies so that "couples have the children they want," while Carles Mulet, of the Mixed Group, has called for a "serious timetable when planning measures" to deal with this demographic challenge. He has also raised the need to bet on "territorial ordering" and "generate industry" in the depopulated territories. Ignacio Bernal, from Unidos Podemos, has expressed concern that the strategy becomes "another diagnostic plan without implementing" and has indicated that the "best model of family reconciliation is to implement free public education for children from 0 to 3 years".


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