Those of us who subscribe to this Manifesto, Extremadurans by birth, feelings or professional relationships, residents outside of Extremadura and who, in some cases, one day had to abandon it for various work, economic, professional or family reasons, among other multiple causes, contributing our lives and that of our families to other territories, but that we have not broken, nor do we want to break, our links with the region, to which we want to visit or return with the same facilities and transport frequencies as others places, we and our families, and their social, economic and basic infrastructure situation hurts, we want to express firmly, commitment and demand the following:

1.- Extremadura’s peripheral and incommunicado position for centuries due to its border effect has kept it away from the main population centers and from decision-making, which has harmed it, if not none, in being the destination of public investments and infrastructure state, accumulating a deficit over centuries of public endowments essential for economic, social and cultural development. This peripheral and incommunicado situation has not changed substantially either with the Autonomous State or with the incorporation of Spain and Portugal into the European Union, but on the contrary has aggravated it, by increasing the distances from the economic and social decision-making centers .

2.- The peripheral and economic situation has been a constant human drain for centuries, contributing much of its best and most dynamic human resources to the great projects of Spain and the development of other regions with greater centrality and connections, without this having Assuming hardly any returns to the region or compensation for their contribution, on the contrary, I have made it increasingly difficult for the Extremadurans who had to leave to return.

3.- In the last decades, the need to be connected by multiple routes and by high capacity and speed infrastructures has become increasingly essential for the territories and opportunities of its population. Extremadura has experienced advances in its communications, especially of inland roads and highways, but they have come at the same time that Spain has had an explosion of high-speed transport infrastructure, especially rail, while in Extremadura there was a process of deterioration of the railway. Greater infrastructure improvements in the entire State and new habits of social mobility have increased the differences with other regions and have further distanced us from what we already were from the development circuits and flows. Extremadura currently has the worst railway services in Spain and the farthest from decision-making centers and interconnections.

4.- The border position, which for centuries displaced us to the periphery and isolation, we hoped that it could have been changed with the incorporation of Spain and Portugal into the European Union and geo-strategically place ourselves in the midst of the large population and decision-making nuclei between Madrid and Lisbon, in addition to Seville and Porto, providing us with infrastructures and intensifying relations between the two Iberian countries. On the contrary, the few railway connections with Portugal were closed and the railway infrastructure of the Vía de la Plata was closed and dismantled. The lack of infrastructure and railway services have meant that almost all the connections between these Iberian towns are air, a fact that has not only ignored the region, but has also significantly limited the possibilities and opportunities for cooperation and collaboration between the two countries and these large population centers and economic development. The result of connecting these cores can have far-reaching and unpredictable economic consequences. For this reason, we consider that the Madrid-Lisbon connection through a high-speed rail infrastructure should be considered as the basic transport project for Extremadura that underpins the region and connects it with the two global capitals of the Iberian States and through them with the world, but we understand that it is not only a strategic infrastructure for Extremadura but for the two States and for the two capitals that unite the SOUTHWEST IBERIAN CORRIDOR. This corridor is not only a railway infrastructure, but it can be a new axis for the development of the two Iberian states.

5.- Although there are many deficiencies in transport and communications in Extremadura, both in roads, air, digital and other connection and communication networks, we believe that the railroad must have priority attention and we support the demands and actions of the SOCIAL PACT AND POLITICAL FOR THE RAILWAY IN EXTREMADURA, which the different social and political agents and institutions of the region have unanimously signed and assumed, and which is being widely supported by the Extremaduran society, and with this manifesto we join this “Pact for the communications of Extremadura ”(1)

Cáceres November 11, 2017

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