If the trend noted recently by the National Institute of Statistics, this year Spain will have lost 93,180 inhabitants, which is almost equivalent to the entire population of a city like Cáceres. Do we have a demographic problem that requires natalist policies and / or attract more immigrants?
The tyrant Nicolae Ceausescu, obsessed with repopulating Romania and strengthening his economy, imposed on the population the obligation to father children. Prohibited contraceptive methods and abortion in any circumstance. The regime's police even subjected women to close control of their fertility, and denunciations and incarcerations were commonplace against those who resisted. The results, among others, were 100,000 abandoned children in orphanages in deplorable conditions and 10,000 deaths in clandestine abortions.
Franco, once decimated and impoverished population by the Civil War, also opted for a tough natalista policy. It restricted the right of women to gainful employment for the care of children. Married women were expelled from public companies. Contraceptive methods and legal abortion were not available to almost anyone.
Today, Spanish families, like Romanians, enjoy, in theory, full autonomy to decide how many children they want to bring to the world. Women can even proclaim without scandal that they do not want them because they never received the call of motherhood. This freedom conquered with democracy remains, in practice, very severed in the opposite direction to that dictatorships imposed. It is an unresolved issue not only in Spain, but throughout southern Europe. The birth and fertility rates have fallen to the point of not guaranteeing generational replacement and our countries are destined to lose population.
Only immigration will stop the population decline that is coming. It will have short-term economic problems. But I do not think we are facing a demographic challenge in an already overpopulated world. It is not about launching natalist policies, but about seeking social equity. The problem lies in a social structure that makes it extremely difficult for young people to settle down and opt for the desired paternity. The system imposes on the majority a subtle and invisible tyranny and in face of that reality marked by precariousness and the rules of the market, the public powers are impotent, either due to a lack of budget, due to the lack of tools to achieve it, or because of scarcity Of vision.
Immigration is unjustly demonized and we are unable to find ways to avoid the frustration of tens of thousands of families who should have every right to conceive children.