“For us it was a release.” With this forceful phrase, the dental hygienist Auxiliadora Rodriguez remembers the Transition. This Sevillian native of Alcala de Guadaira suddenly became an adult when the Government of Adolfo Suarez approved the Decree-Law that lowered the age of majority from 21 years to 18 on a day like today 40 years ago, coming into force on next day. It was a measure that equated Spain with European countries such as France, Germany and Italy.
Thus, Auxiliadora, who had just turned 18 on August 3, 1978, like so many other millions of Spaniards, was able to vote in the Referendum on the Spanish Constitution 20 days after the Decree-Law was approved. For a woman back then, it was like walking out of a dark cave to suddenly find yourself in a blazing spring sun that augurs an air of freedom while Bohemian Rhapsody plays in the background. The awakening of a new era.
It was an open door for a better future . We were not aware of the change that was going to take place in Spain. We were used to censorship. On Good Friday in Alcala everything was closed and no other music could be played at home other than that of chapel,” recalls Rodriguez. Since the promulgation of theConstitution of 1978 have been held 12 general elections in Spain. The last ones were those of 2016.
“It was an open door for a better future. We were not aware of the change that was going to take place in Spain,” says Auxiliadora
Dieciochoaneros like her were also able to vote in the elections of March 1, 1979, in the that Adolfo Suarez emerged victorious . “I voted for UCD, because it wasn’t the drastic change that other parties were proposing. I perfectly remember a Suarez rally at the Casino de la Exposicion and he convinced me,” he said. But, is an 18-year-old boy from 1978 the same as a young man of that age from 2018
Does he face duties and responsibilities in the same way
“The children of today are more awake than us, because they live politics from birth. In my time, nobody dared to move or say anything, because censorship prevented us from knowing the plurality. The young people of today have a preparation that we did not have. Now, maturity does not go with age but with the circumstances that you live and with the education that they give you. Maturity is the effort you have to make to face life, “Rodriguez highlights.

The vision of current politicians

The national deputy and Secretary of Communication of Andalusia for Citizens , Guillermo Diaz , considers that the Decree-Law was ” a good decision“. “It placed us on the axis formed by France, Germany and Italy, countries where we saw ourselves reflected. And over time, it has been shown that this is our place. The age of majority at 18 is a widely accepted issue not only in Spain but in the rest of Europe,” he added.
For her part, the Andalusian parliamentarian who is a militant of the Unified Workers’ Candidacy (CUT) Libertad Benitez is not so sure . that this decision is valid today: “If the working age is 16, that could also be the voting age. Of course, the criminal responsibilities are another story. In any case, it would be necessary for all parties to sit down and reflect on the issue. The problem of abortion and employment affects minors andThe age of majority at 16 could make it easier for young people to become more involved in politics and decide to build a better society. Mechanisms for real participation should be put in place for young people and children in political issues that directly affect them, such as the lack of air conditioning in schools and institutes”.
Benitez adds that many young people extend their relinquishment of responsibilities until they reach ” adulthood ” . , something that did not happen with the eighteen-year-olds of 40 years ago.Bad times for maturity when one lives by and for the culture of leisure and screens.

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