Spanish Populist Leader: Increase Births to Combat Demographic Decline
The leader of Spain’s populist party VOX has advocated a policy to increase the country’s birth rate to counter demographic decline while slamming opponents for advocating for mass migration as a solution.
VOX leader Santiago Abascal addressed a crowd in the Plaza Concilio de Trento in Salamanca at a rally ahead of the regional elections in Castile and León set to be held this Sunday, stating that his formula to stop the demographic decline of Spain was to increase the national birth rate.
Abascal slammed his political opponents accusing them of choosing immigration to stop the demographic decline, stating that most of the immigration was also illegal immigration, digital newspaper El Confidencial reports.
Spain, which has one of the lowest birth rates in the European Union, saw a five per cent decline in births during the first year of the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic in 2020. The country has seen rates below the 2.2 children per woman replacement rate since 1980.
“We do not want to solve the problems of Spain by calling for illegal immigration, as they do, which they then want to buy with social aid so that when they nationalize them and because nationality is given away, they also vote for them,” Abascal said.
“We want to repopulate Spain with Spaniards and we welcome anyone who comes to live with us, as long as they do so legally, asking for permission to raise Spain with us because Spain is also a welcoming country but we want the laws, our culture and our way of life to be respected,” he added.
The rally, which was attended by around a thousand people, also saw the party’s primary candidate for the presidency of the region Juan García Gallardo state that the party’s political opponents were “nervous” over VOX’s growth in polling.
VOX is currently polling third in the regional election race, behind the centre-right People’s Party (PP) and the Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE), with an Electomania poll released on Monday putting VOX at 16.9 per cent.
Abascal’s comments come as more and more populist politicians have espoused pro-family policies with the goal of increasing national birthrates, following the conservative-led Polish and Hungarian governments who have had such policies for several years.