We can say that in the last forty years, Andalusia became more prosperous and took a leap forward into modernity and wealth. We can say that our country directly benefited from welfare state and the autonomies state that was created after Franco’s death in 1975. It can also be said that the subsidized Andalusia is now better than ever and that our policies are a beacon of social welfare and prosperity.
Well, no. Simply not.
When in 1977 the Spanish State decided that only the nations that had a regional constitution during the Spanish Republic (1931-36) could begin their processes towards autonomy, several nations within the Spanish State claimed their own right to have it too, and Andalusia was the first of many. The Andalusian people demonstrated on December 4th, 1977, with more than two million citizens in its streets claiming for autonomy, in order to be capable to decide our policies and dodge the Spanish State’s centralist policies that had put us into the bottom of the list in most of welfare, economy, health and education. We can see today that the situation did not change at all.
Ever since the Andalusian autonomy was created, it was doomed to be a branch of Madrid government, and so was it ever since. We did not strive in any of the aforementioned parameters, and we kept sending our youth abroad due to the lack of opportunities. We still are one of the poorest regions in Western Europe and the perspective is no better. Andalusia has kept voting to the same socialist party (PSOE) and gave them power in every national election, and this has brought us no good, even if they keep selling all their achievements as so.
We lost the few industry we had. We lost our local banks for foreign ones. They built a high-speed train rather than improving our airports. They constantly refuse to invest in key infrastructures throughout the country while the Spanish State keeps funding a radial (and centralist) infrastructures network that has been proven over and over as deficitary. Andalusia keeps having a massive lack of hospital, roads, railroads, ports, education centres… and is still posted in the lowest possitions of education quality. Our universities are not even close to the top ranked ones in Europe and the unemployment rates are monstruous.
We can keep writing more and more reasons for the demonstration called on December 3rd in Málaga (where a demonstrator was killed in 1977 by Spanish Armed Police), but it only states the brutal need of a political movement in Andalusia that leads the path to selfdetermination. We need to rebuild the national political spectrum in Andalusia to be able to remove from power the jacobinist and treacherous PSOE that kept Andalusia in the bottom of a pit, while endless corruption scandals lead our way to the abyss.
It is time to stop 40 years of nothing and start to build our own way.
Author: Juventudes Andalucistas member and Former EFAy Vice-President Pablo Peñuela