Empty Spain only manages to present lists in half of the provinces | Spain

The step forward of Emptied Spain towards politics has stumbled with the times. The electoral advance in Castilla y León, with elections on February 13 after the PP broke the Government with Cs, has led these groups to have to adapt to hasty deadlines, and the result is that the declared objective of appearing at nine o’clock provinces of the region – one of those with the most depopulation problems in all of Spain – will not be met. The groups of Burgos, Palencia and Salamanca, together with the already filmed Soria ¡Ya !, confirmed yesterday that they will attend the 13-F; those of León, Zamora, Ávila and Segovia have given up. Only in Valladolid is the deadline rushing – which expires this Friday – to study a possible provincial candidacy.

The entities of the Empty Spain in León reported yesterday that, despite their willingness to present themselves in the last weeks, they are withdrawing and will wait for the general elections of 2023. “It is an important moment for Leon society, with an electoral advance that generates many expectations, and we prefer to prioritize the best for our province. We continue working to make the project of Empty Spain in León roar with force when it is complete, “they said in a statement. Sergio Díez, from León Ruge, claims that the association is taking “a step aside” for not having fully “established” the necessary system to intervene in politics. “We don’t want any more divisions,” he says.

The Zamoran representation of Spain Vaciada also resigned on Wednesday. Chema Mezquita, a member of the Rural Coordinator of Zamora, points out that “structure and roots” are lacking to make a decision of this caliber. “We still do not have enough strength, it could decapitalize the social movement,” says Mezquita, which calls for “growing more socially to branch out politically.” The Zamorano, who believes that the move of the PP advancing the elections seeks to limit the rise of Emptied Spain by hindering its institutional landing, asks to reflect. “What is more interesting in Zamora, a prosecutor in the Cortes or a fighting province? A seat can be irrelevant. You have to keep moving and explain what Empty Spain is ”.

The case of Zamora and León, territories that between 2020 and 2021 respectively lost 1.1% and 1% of the population according to the INE, shows that premature elections have made it difficult for this social trend to translate into political platforms. The national coordinator of the Espana Vaciada platform, Antonio Saz, regrets the advance but stresses that there is no rush: “We always said that where there were no strong movements there would be no candidacies.” Saz emphasizes that 2022 and 2023 will be years “with many electoral processes” for which this movement wants to be organized and robust: “We want to do things well.” A key purpose is to get representation in the Congress of Deputies, as Teruel Existe did in 2019.

Saz, however, emphasizes that until today there is time to present provincial representatives and that on January 9 the margin to close the full candidacies expires. Thus, it does not rule out that alternatives may arise, always with autonomy, in some other province.

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Carlos Merino, a member of Segovia Viva, who has also declined to attend, admits that the president of Castilla y León, Alfonso Fernández Mañueco (PP), “has been skilled in precipitating elections and that people did not have time to organize.” But he adds: “We were born to raise proposals and put pressure on the parties, this path still has its way and appearing in politics can make us lose freshness and transversality.”

Alicia del Pozo, one of the representatives of A11 Pasos, a group from Peñafiel (Valladolid), also assumes that they are not going to participate. Sources from Empty Spain affirm that in this province there are still options for an electoral alternative of this profile to appear. Yes, it was weighed in Ávila, says Juan Carlos Soto, a member of Ávila Resiste, one of the components of the Avila Network against depopulation. “Everything was precipitated by the electoral advance, we still do not have the maturity to face them because this is not only about having some lists,” says Soto, who defines social activism as “very vulnerable” and potentially harmed by the “mud” of the institutional policy: “The rush is never good.” This process, he acknowledges, is not yet strong enough to “do it to be done.” In addition, Por Ávila participates in this province, a split from the PP with more popularity, which although it does not wield the argumentation of Empty Spain but would be competition at the polls.

The elections will count, yes, with several candidacies of localist dye but outside the platform and the speech of Spain Vaciada. Some with a route, such as the Union of the Leonés People, Por Ávila, Centrados (Segovia) or Now Decide (Zamora), and other new ones, such as Palencia Existe or Conceyu País Llionés.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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