Spain-An Architectural and Financial Mess
Posted on February 9, 2010
I have just been away on a short trip to Spain with my friends Ray and Howard who have a lovely little house tucked away in between Valencia and Barcelona.
However all around their area, financial and architectural misery stares at you from every direction as the economy collapses from recession, to depression, to meltdown.
The stunning new beachside developments standing unsold
Bankrupt pensioners playing boules to a backdrop of deserted flats
The figures are stark, 20% unemployment and still rising makes 7.8% in the UK look insignificant, with the biggest hit being the construction industry which has shrunk by up to 50%. Everywhere you look in the Castellon region there are unfinished roads, playgrounds and roundabouts leading to unsold unfinished row rows and rows of hideous Tenement blocks resembling something from the Eastern block, it is a planning disaster of biblical proportions.
For many Ex Pat Brits living in the regions such as Andalusia, the ultimate nightmare has happened. Houses prices have more than halved and their pensions have been cut in value by a third by the weak pound, even if they wanted to cut and run they can’t, it is extraordinary, you really have to go there to believe it.
So, the next time you think you have had enough of Hampshire, or wherever you may live in the UK, be careful what you might wish for. The misery of being a 70 year old pensioner stuck in the wreckage of a bankrupt country with £100k of negative equity must be a bitter pill to swallow.
The Spanish dream went wrong, just be glad you are not part of it. Wrap up, take a long walk down the river Thames, Test, or Kennet, with their sweeping meadows and riverside cottages and mill houses, then stop for a minute, take in the fresh winter air, try not to think of Duncan Cameron, Premiership Footballers, or X Factor, then take a few seconds to thank god you are English.
If that fails, move to France and buy a farmhouse, 20 chickens, a fishing rod, and a Citroen CV.