Lack of public (private) services in the 21st century
Without ATMs in the municipalities, older people will be forced to make much longer journeys, a fact that is also exposing them to a much greater risk of suffering a traffic accident.
I have carefully read a report in Punt-Avui on the shortage of ATMs to withdraw cash in more than 400 small municipalities in Catalonia (almost half). Banks withdraw ATMs faster than, at the time, telephone booths.
I remember that when I arrived from the north of Europe to Catalonia in 1970 (in a large city in the Barcelona metropolitan area) it was impossible to have telephone service in my house before half a year (if I arrived). The feeling of isolation and poor public service was important.
Later, in the 1980s and 1990s, part of the service debate focused on guaranteeing electricity, water and telephone supplies to more or less isolated villages. And yet, not all of this has been achieved – there are still small towns with poor public services. Highway supplies were considered more important than basic services.
In the European community, in the 1990s, systems were being worked on to guarantee the IT service to locations with little population – in part to provide equal services to all and to avoid depopulation of the territory.
And now it is being discovered (something we knew) that there are places in the Catalan territory, which are once again in a situation of shortages. The cause is in the lack of ethics on the part of public service companies, which do not want to provide this basic service to a minority.
People in our society (elderly people, like the one who writes) who cannot meet all their financial needs through electronic movements, need years – still – to learn the details of the computer or mobile phone. It must be borne in mind that they do not move in the same codes as the new digitized generations and, for example, they need to easily withdraw cash for their small purchases.
In addition, the shortage of ATMs forces them to make much longer journeys, a fact that is also exposing them to a much greater risk of suffering a traffic accident.
In this case, the municipal, regional and state administration fails the elderly once again. They indicate with disdain that they do not have the power to assume a declaration of public service to facilitate their services to the elderly.
In this case, as in other services, it seems that the administrations do not think enough about the citizen (as happens when we touch on the subject of victims of aggression in society – including victims of mobility accidents) and their legitimate needs. The service of the population goes after the profit wishes of the big companies.