The pain in Spain proves too much as expat Britons pack their bags- by Graham Keely
Janine Richmond was busy packing boxes this week, ready to leave her home near Marbella for the last time. After six years living on the Costa del Sol, Mrs Richmond and her husband, Nicholas, reluctantly took the decision to return to Britain with their two young daughters. “We just couldn’t make it work any more financially,” she said, as she prepared for an emotional farewell. “We would have loved to have stayed but things are too hard here for my husband and we cannot last any longer.” The Richmonds, like a growing number of British expats, are heading home as the sun sets on their Spanish dream.
The low value of the pound, the end of Spain’s decade-long building bonanza and the global financial meltdown have conspired to make Britain a more attractive place to many expatriates, despite the deepening recession at home. No official figures exist for how many are heading home. The British Embassy estimates that one million Britons live at least part of the year in Spain. Many of them choose to remain officially living in Britain for tax or pensions, so to British authorities they never actually left.