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cobran20

The ghost towns of Spain

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Once dubbed the "Manhattan of La Mancha" the new development was supposed to include 13,000 apartments to create a satellite town and suburban paradise for 30,000 people.

But just five years after work began only 5,100 of the properties are completed, less than a fifth occupied and construction on the promised infrasture, including schools and sport centres, have long been abandoned.

Such modern-day ghost towns are rapidly becoming a familiar part of the Spanish landscape an estimated one million new properties left unsold and the number of foreclosure proceedings rocketing.

Earlier this month Spain's newly-elected conservative government of Mariano Rajoy ordered the nation's banks to set aside funds to cover toxic real estate assets valued at 175 billion euros.

Over 500,000 foreclosures were granted by courts in Spain in the three years leading up to September 2011, newly released data shows.

Property in half finished developments across Spain is being offered at discounts of up to 50 per cent of their original prices as banks struggle to offload a glut of real estate.

But with Spain's unemployment topping five million - a eurozone high of 23 per cent - and banks unwilling to offer credit, few believe the situation will improve in the short term.

"This is the problem: Who is going to buy these homes?" said Jose Luis Alvarez Arce, head of the economics department at the University of Navara.

Property values across Spain as a whole plummeted 22 per cent since the financial crisis hit Europe in 2008 and in December house sales were down 25 per cent on the year before.

Sesena was once an example of the health of one of Europe's most successful economies as construction boomed to provide new homes for people with a new-found affluence.

Spain's property boom was a key source of jobs and allowing the country's economy to grow at a faster rate than the rest of the eurozone before the bubble burst in the second half of 2007.

People who did invest in properties at the new developments are now stuck living in half built complexes without any of the promised amenities.

Sesena is marked by row upon row of empty commercial units where once it was hoped small businesses, shops and restaurants would thrive.

Increasingly homeowners are burdened with negative equity and as unemployment rises are attempting to sell their homes at often huge personal losses.

In the town of Yebes more than an hour's drive from Madrid, 9,000 apartments and small houses were supposed to be built in an idyllic country setting next to a high-speed train station so workers could get downtown in less than 20 minutes.

But only 1,500 were finished before developers went broke, 3,000 people live there instead of the projected 30,000 and government officials never launched the train service.

"The station is built, the trains are bought but they never started running," said Mayor Joaquin Ormazabal.

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lived in spain for 2 months lately, wow SUCH a dead country, you can just feel it!!!

they now close down children playgrounds to convert them to dog playgrounds as there are more dogs than children in the city, no joke!

barcelona was ONLY tourists, have never seen something like that. just a terrible country. i loved porto, real chilled, cooler climate than lissabon.

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2 hours ago, Swaize said:

lived in spain for 2 months lately, wow SUCH a dead country, you can just feel it!!!

they now close down children playgrounds to convert them to dog playgrounds as there are more dogs than children in the city, no joke!

barcelona was ONLY tourists, have never seen something like that. just a terrible country. i loved porto, real chilled, cooler climate than lissabon.

Shame. It was a great country to visit when I was there long time ago. I spent 6 weeks backpacking around Portugal & Spain and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

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Yeah thats gone, but there are other gems right now waiting to be travelled :)

in your area of the world, you got all of asia :)

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12 hours ago, Swaize said:

Yeah thats gone, but there are other gems right now waiting to be travelled :)

in your area of the world, you got all of asia :)

Seen a few already. Japan is the only one left on my priority list. After that will be South America & Europe.

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how is asia and what places were nice? reccomendations?

in south america, many friends liked colombia and costa rica (i have never been)

in europe  stunning women in oslo, nice party vibe in holland, nice old town vienna(touristic) nice food in france also castles , very cheap places in the balkan-romania area also lots of wilderness (need a car and maby visa)

budapest cheap and nice old-f*cked up-charm rustic

if you like drinking and pubs, then scotland and ireland ;)

 

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7 hours ago, Swaize said:

how is asia and what places were nice? reccomendations?

If you dislike heavily congested places, avoid Saigon & Hanoi. Stick to the Vietnamese country side.

Similar for what I saw of Cambodia. Laos is a must.

Also liked malaysian Borneo.

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