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Forty years since first local elections: How have things changed?
07 April 2019 @ 21:35

IT is often hard to comprehend how a modern, progressive country such as Spain was almost a third-world nation in the grip of a fascist dictatorship just 45 years ago - and democracy at local level is even younger.

Two months away from the municipal elections - which all EU citizens on the census, including Brits, Brexit or no Brexit, can vote in - it may not seem any great privilege, being able to drop your ballot paper in a box in an attempt to choose the party you think is most likely to follow through with their pledges on more parking spaces, lower property taxes, and recycling bins closer than a 15-minute walk away.

But this week saw Spain marking its 40th anniversary of the first democratic local elections, the first time residents were allowed to vote for their local government.

Until as recently as 1979, few adults in Spain had ever voted at all - they had never had a voice.



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