British nationals are running from Spain’s Costa del Sol as the economic crisis deepens as they leave a trail of debt
Hundreds of British nationals are giving up on Spain’s Costa del Sol as the economic decline in the area takes a nosedive since the Coronavirus pandemic struck Spain, and now enters a period of a second wave which continues to spiral.
As British owned businesses close for good by the day, the dream of living in the sun on the Costa del Sol is over for hundreds of British ex-pats, who head back home to the United Kingdom leaving a trail of debt behind them.
As the Costa del Sol becomes desolate from tourism with so many restrictions in place, that has seen the region become a ghost town, British business owners, having attempted to see through the summer months are now heading in their droves for the safety of home as the summer season ends.
Circulation of foot flow and spending customers has not been apparent at all in 2020, especially after the State of Emergency in Spring, that saw a national lockdown for over 2 months. Whilst many thought they could and would bounce back when the lockdown was lifted – it wasn’t to be after the British government, as well as others, imposed quarantine regulations on mainland Spain and also it’s holiday islands.
Holidaymakers who normally return to Spain’s Costa del Sol & Costa Blanca yearly, hot-footed it desperate for a holiday after their own lockdown period, to the likes of Turkey, Croatia and Greece avoiding sanctions and tight regulations.
Sales of holidays plummeted to Spain as well as thousands of flights cancelled due to lack of numbers, leaving Brit’s in Spain destitute when it came to trading. And now as the end of the summer season finishes, even the Spanish holidaymakers from the likes of Madrid return home. The Costa del Sol will be baron.
At this time of year on the Costa del Sol, it’s known as the “switch over time” as the standard holidaymakers and holiday packages end. Whilst the older retired generation return for winter after going home to avoid the warmer months of summer. This year though early indications are they are not to return either, due to fears of the second wave of the virus as well as not wishing to have to face all the regulations in place currently that range from constantly having to wear a face mask when outside of the home to not being able to have a cigarette in a public place.
Now though, British returners are on the serious increase as they leave Spain for good, leaving a trail of debt behind them. Running for the safety of home. It’s reported that statistics show that 70% of British owned businesses have not been paying their debts on time, to suppliers, landlords and other mediums, whilst racking up huge overdrafts and non paid back loans to Spanish banks.
It’s not just business owners either, as many British ex-pats work in the entertainment and hospitality sectors to which Spain’s coasts depend on. Employment for the British is nearly non-existent.
Nightclubs are closed along with numerous live music and entertainment venues, further adding to the pain and the lack of opportunity. Whilst restaurants are known to serve one meal a day on times as they battle to remain open.
Whilst during the summer months many Brit’s gave up and often just “locking and running overnight” before jumping on a plane back to Blighty to take shelter from the financial misery. As they lost their payments for cafes and bars, now the numbers are further increasing as the failed summer season ends.
Landlords and Spanish banks are taking the largest financial hits off the Brit’s as they depart the country fleeing from loans and overdrafts and overdue rents.
Millionaire businessman and property owner Michael Issac tells Global247news of his current plight: “I have more empty properties now. Both residential and commercial than I had in the financial crash back in 2008. It’s a startling number but the worst thing is the amount of debt I’m owed by tenants who have just got up and left with no notice. It’s in excess of 100 grand now”
” The majority are British and have flown home, there’s no point chasing the debt. The main bulk has nothing left to chase in truth. The costs of chasing the debts legally would probably make a further loss chasing them around England”
Spanish banks are feeling the squeeze too from disappearing Brit’s as they dump out on bank loans and overdrafts, as the banks never took security. A bank insider for the main ex-pat Bank Banco Sabbadel, told us ” It’s not large single amounts, but it’s lots of small amounts. The British customers have simply stopped using their accounts and they become inactive”
Brian Kelley who is still at present trading on the Costa del Sol says the future looks even bleaker and is actually hoping now for another lockdown, he explained:
“I am in a lucky position, I own the freehold to my business premises. Although each day I am losing money by being open. Each week its another dip into the savings pot to fund the business and pay the staff, I brought staff back in after the lockdown and before the extra restrictions were put in place. Under Spanish employment law I can’t make them redundant or put them back on the ERTE. Quite frankly I need another lockdown to shed the debt,” he said.
” The Costa del Sol is not the place to be right now if you are seeking employment or running the majority of business dependent on visitors to the region. I can see it looking like a shanty town before long here in Fuengirola” Kelley finished.
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