Spain’s Rural Parties Look to Shake Up the Status Quo

Villagers attend a campaign meeting for the Spanish far-right party Vox at a bar in Brazatortas, on the edge of the Alcudia valley, central Spain, April 10, 2019 (AP photo by Bernat Armangue).
Villagers attend a campaign meeting for the Spanish far-right party Vox at a bar in Brazatortas, on the edge of the Alcudia valley, central Spain, April 10, 2019 (AP photo by Bernat Armangue).
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Regional political parties are springing up across rural Spain and banding together under the platform “Emptied Spain,” in an effort to push the big-city elites who dominate Spanish politics to address the challenges facing rural inhabitants. As rural populations have dwindled in recent decades, so have public services in those regions, causing a vicious cycle of depopulation and decline. Inspired by the success of the tiny political party “Teruel Exists,” which has leveraged a single swing vote in parliament to advocate for rural issues, these parties are preparing to run in the next general election to establish a stronger voice […]

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