Campaign groups organise Madrid protest against depopulation in Spanish towns

GROUPS campaigning for regions where the population has fallen have said they will stage a protest in Madrid on March 31 to call for government action on the issue.

A total of 14 groups from provinces across Spain are set to demonstrate in Madrid’s Plaza de Colon. The rally has been dubbed the Revolt of Empty Spain, with Aragon’s The Other Guadalajara and Castilla-La Mancha’s Paisanos de Sanco among those set to take part.

The groups said in a joint statement they would protest against a lack of investment and what they claimed was the “progressive dismantling” of residents’ basic rights.

The Other Guadalajara said: “What has been invested so far, and how it has been invested, has not resulted in the reversal of the trend towards zero inhabitants which we are on.”

It comes as National Institute for Statistics (INE) figures showed there were 1,360 towns with less than 101 residents as of January, up from 1,319 at the start of 2018. The equivalent figure was 1,036 ten years ago.

Territories Minister Meritxell Batet previously said that depopulation is the “biggest challenge” facing Spain.

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Joe Gerrard

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