Almeria’s cash crusade

Almeria's fight against financial exclusion

Ariel view of Lijar, Almeria. Credit: AyuntamientoLijar/

The town of Lijar in Almeria, known historically for declaring war on France in 1883, is now making headlines for its battle against financial exclusion.

Despite having a mere 380 residents, this town witnessed over 6,000 ATM transactions last year, amounting to a staggering €1.2 million.

This surprising statistic was confirmed by Javier Aureliano Garcia, the president of the Provincial Council, who has emerged as a champion against financial exclusion. Garcia shared these figures at the Denaria Platform Conference, emphasising Almeria’s proactive approach in providing ATMs to the 33 towns across the province that lacked them.

His contribution to the debate on Spain’s cash situation underscored the importance of accessible financial services, particularly in rural areas.

Garcia explained that Almeria’s strategy involved a public tender divided into two lots, securing services with Unicaja and Euromatic Cash to operate 33 ATMs, thus overcoming financial exclusion effectively.

His efforts have not gone unnoticed. In 2023, Garcia stood out at a conference for his dedication to ensuring that even the smallest communities, such as Lijar, remain financially included. As an aside, many will be glad to know that Lijar declared peace with France back in 1983.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.