We are told how expats are seeing their dreams collapse around them and are fleeing back to Britain in droves, or living in fear of criminal gangs, while lazy Spanish postmen throw their Christmas cards into the sea because they can't be bothered to deliver them. Brits who tried to "live the dream" and run their own bar are going bankrupt because there are no customers any more, or because of excessive bureaucracy and inflexibility shown by the Spanish authorities.
The British media are reporting similar tales of doom and gloom, with people's dream homes being demolished or appropriated under the "land grab" laws, pensioners living in penury due to falling exchange and interest rates, and corrupt politicians, builders and estate agents colluding to offload illegally-built properties onto unsuspecting buyers.
The man who made the videos presumably wants to warn off British people thinking of moving to Spain; I can't think why else he has gone to so much trouble. But the scenario he is describing does not apply to Spain as a whole, only to parts of her blighted Mediterranean coast.
The greed of speculators, construction companies and politicians over the last forty years led to invasive and often hideous overdevelopment of what were once beautiful places. People from Northern Europe were lured there in their millions, by an image of "Sunny Spain" where life was just one long holiday based around sun, sea and cheap booze, to live in ghettos of little pink villas where nobody needs or even wants to learn about Spanish language or culture. When the coastal plain was full to bursting, the developers started eating into the mountainous hinterland, creating unsustainable demand for scarce water resources and threatening some of Spain's richest wildlife habitats.
|COSTA BLANCA - PARADISE LOST|
I have every sympathy for those people whose dreams have turned into nightmares, but I do wish they wouldn't go back to the UK and blame Spain for their misfortunes. To quote one of the contributors to my favourite expat forum:
"There are those who seem to think Spain is a British colony. They come with a sense of entitlement, speak no Spanish and make no effort to, and regard Spain as a 'third world' country ... and the Spaniards as backward morons. The people who settle happily here are those who have had established, happy lives in the UK. They bring their level-headedness and contentment with them, don't expect paradise and learn to cope with all the little niggles and adjustments living in a foreign country entails."Spain is undoubtedly going through a rough time at the moment, with 20% unemployment and over a million newly-built dwellings unsold. But away from those blighted Costas, life goes on more or less as usual; the festivals and ferias, the big family lunches on Sunday afternoons, the evening paseos, the bustling street markets. The Spanish people have come through far worse situations in living history and they will, eventually, come through this one.