Albacete (EFE).- The third vice president and minister for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, Teresa Ribera, has appealed for joint work, learning to evaluate what is more or less effective, in the agenda of the fight against depopulation, which it requires “consistency, commitment, loyalty and honesty among all”.
Ribera spoke like this during his inauguration speech at the IV Congress on Depopulation and Demographic Challenge that is held this Thursday and Friday at the Teatro Circo de Albacete, where he highlighted how “much” the speech has evolved since the previous appointment of these characteristics, four years ago now, before the pandemic.
From the “empty Spain” to the “Spain of opportunities”
He has indicated that “the metaphor of an empty Spain has served to understand a tremendously unfair reality against which today we have already rebelled and today we speak of the Spain of opportunities, of equality”, he has asserted.
They have gone from talking about ’empty Spain’ to ‘the Spain of opportunities’, defended the minister, who has insisted that “we are no longer victimized, it is the Spain of opportunities, which respects, coexists and recognizes tradition, but also respects, promotes, favors and wants to be visible in innovation”.
He thanked the role of the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP) in promoting this congress on the fight against the Demographic Challenge, an objective that he considered “a challenge”, in which “the weight of the regional administrations strongly stands out, with a regulation capable of articulating a different vision” and has also referred to the Law for the Promotion of Measures against the Depopulation of Castilla-La Mancha.
Closing the digital divide, one of the objectives
Ribera has considered that, in order to work on the innovative measures that this challenge requires, “one of the first objectives is to close the digital divide” and has referred to the “firm commitment” of the central government “that allows us today to be able to affirm that the coverage in rural areas exceeds 85 percent.
He has recognized that it is still “not enough” and, therefore, “we have had to promote connectivity through satellite in order to ensure that there is no corner of our country that does not have coverage.”
“It is not enough to be connected, we must be able to take off digital skills”, stated Ribera, who was convinced that “the Digital Skills Plan will help us to do so”.
It asks to “look for solutions among all”
He insisted that “we must seek solutions together, each one will have to contribute a part”, he said and warned that “it is very important to add and not subtract and we must not fall into the temptation of ‘me to mine’ ‘, because that’s not how you build a country”.
For the third vice president of the Government, “a country, a prosperous society, is built with an overall vision”, and she added that, “if we talk about different realities, we will have to build regulations that allow us to recognize that difference, that rural roof ”.
Castilla-La Mancha wants to join the councils in the fight against depopulation
The vice-president of Castilla-La Mancha, José Luis Martínez Guijarro, also spoke at the event, and advanced that they are going to propose to the five presidents of the regional councils “to sign a common agenda”, to add to the Regional Strategy against to Depopulation the performance of those five councils.
“This will make it possible to get more efficiency out of the public resources that we put in the face of depopulation”, has defended Guijarro, who has insisted on the importance of territorial financing to face the challenge of depopulation.
And it is that he has pointed out that “in the same province, bringing health to depopulated localities supposes four times more cost than in those that do not have this risk.”
Coping with depopulation, a country challenge
On the other hand, the FEMP Secretary General, Carlos Daniel Casares Díaz, recalled that 87% of our towns have fewer than 5,000 inhabitants, and stressed that “the challenge against depopulation is a challenge for the country.”
The first vice president of the Parliament of Castilla-La Mancha, Josefina Navarrete; the mayor of Albacete, Emilio Sáez; and the president of the Albacete Provincial Council, Santiago Cabañero.
All have highlighted the importance of joint work in the fight against depopulation and have stressed that Castilla-La Mancha has been a pioneer region in taking legislative measures.
The congress will continue this Thursday and Friday, with speakers from all over Spain, both from the political and social spheres as well as from the university.