€330 million needed for Almeria’s dying towns

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ABANDONDED: An old windmill stands alone in rural Almeria. Photo credit: Shutterstock

THE centre-left PSOE party is asking for €330 million to reverse the exodus from rural Almeria which affects one in three villages.

And part of the cash would go towards installing broadband internet, the party announced.

Population decline affects 37 out of 103 municipalities, PSOE’s leader in Almeria leader, Jose Luis Sanchez Teruel said.

The European Union classes an area with less than 12.5 inhabitants per kilometre squared as a ‘serious problem.’

The most affected areas are la Alpujarra Almeriense, Nacimiento, el Campo de Tabernas (Filabres-Alhamilla) and Los Velez. The first two have less than 12 inhabitants per kilometre squared and the second two only 10.

PSOE’s funds would come from the state budget.

They have asked for €80 million to forward a state repopulation plan and another €150 million to action a sustainable rural development law.

The party also wants to spend €100 million on installing broadband internet across the country, whether “it is profitable or not,” Sanchez Teruel said.

The centre-left PSOE party has criticised the ruling centre-right Popular Party’s (PP) national budget as the “worst in recent decades for Almería.”

“We are not even sure if the PP want these towns to stay,” Francisco Garcia, PSOE’s provincial small municipalities official said.

Rural settlements are the “heritage of society as a whole,” meaning its everyone’s responsibility to keep them alive, he added.

“With the loss of these townships we lose lots of indigenous resources, traditions and customs. The history belongs to us all and losing it makes us all poorer,” Garcia said.

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