Friday, 10 July 2009

No official figures for the number of Britons going home, because nobody is counting.

The change from the peseta to the euro caused inflation that ended the "cheap living" forever.

No official figures for the number of Britons going home, because nobody is counting. But Spain is certainly counting its unemployed, up to 17% with more than four million out of work. And that has a painful effect for the Britons who prospered during Spain's boom times. Jim and Caireen Candlin met in Spain, married in Gibraltar and decided to raise their young children on the Costa Brava.Estate agent Marion Atkins is quitting Spain to run a pub in Britain Aberdeen-born Caireen says: "I think Spain is ideal for bringing up children. That's why I'm staying here while he goes back to the UK." Jim is heading home to retrain as an electrician after building work dried up. He says: "We've both worked for firms that have gone bust in the past year. "When we couldn't pay the rent one month and had to phone our parents for help, we realised economically it wasn't working here. We couldn't carry on like that." So now the couple have decided to leave the area, and possibly the country.Like Jim and Caireen, Barnaby Griffin and his wife Rebecca have been forced to live apart by a search for work. Rebecca returned after two years in Orihuela Costa to do temping in London, while Barnaby stays on as a performer in the local bars. "All my friends our age are struggling," he says. "People talk about living the dream but all it seems to be is sunshine, cheap cigs and wine. This area had low wages anyway and we're fed up living hand to mouth."

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