Spain's long and winding road
Spain's long and winding road
Juan Carlos Aganaras

MADRID - Spain is in danger of extinction. There are fewer and fewer children and more and more elders. This stark prognosis has been known for some years now: in 2050 Spain will be the oldest country in the world. People over 80 years old will represent the biggest segment of its population. There will be more deaths than births and fewer people of working age.

The economic crisis has accelerated the process. Since the beginning of the crisis in 2008, the number of births has dropped by 13%, whereas the number of deaths increased so much that it reached a record level last year.

There were 453,637 recorded births in 2012, 3.9% less than in 2011 and 12.8% less than in 2008, when 519,779 babies were born – the highest level in three decades. According to the data published last year by Spain’s National Institute for Statistics, 405,615 people died in 2011 – 4.6% more than in 2011.

And between 2011 and 2012, the fertility rate decreased from 1.34 to 1.32 children per woman on average. At the same time, the average age at which women have their first child rose from 31.4 to 31.6.

Contrary to expectations, the mass arrival of immigrants during Spain’s prosperous period, which lasted 15 years, did not lessen the demographic crisis – even though it could have. After plummeting during the late 1970s, the Spanish birth rate soared between 1998 and 2008. But for the past four years it has been decreasing faster and faster.

There are two explanations for the downturn. Fertility has been diminishing year after year because Spanish couples are increasingly giving up on having children. Twenty percent of babies born in 2012 were born to foreign mothers. The second reason is that there are fewer women of childbearing age.

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Geopolitics

In Sudan, A Surprise About-Face Marks Death Of The Revolution

Ousted Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was the face of the "stolen revolution". The fact that he accepted, out of the blue, to return at the same position, albeit on different footing, opens the door to the final legitimization of the coup.

Sudanese protesters demonstrating against the military regime in London on Nov. 20, 2021

Nesrine Malik

A little over a month ago, a military coup in Sudan ended a military-civilian partnership established after the 2019 revolution that removed President Omar al-Bashir after almost 30 years in power. The army arrested the Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and, along with several of his cabinet and other civil government officials, threw him in detention. In the weeks that followed, the Sudanese military and their partners in power, the Rapid Support Forces, moved quickly.

They reappointed a new government of “technocrats” (read “loyalists”), shut down internet services, and violently suppressed peaceful protests against the coup and its sabotaging of the 2019 revolution. During those weeks, Hamdok remained the symbol of the stolen revolution, betrayed by the military, detained illegally, unable to communicate with the people who demanded his return. In his figure, the moral authority of the counter-coup resided.

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