British expats in Spain facing homelessness over financial crisis

Published:  24 Jul at 6 PM
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As the financial crisis in Spain worsens, the expat community is facing increasing problems with homelessness.

A growing number of British expats living the dream in Spain are losing their jobs as a result of the financial crises and are unable to keep up their mortgage or rent payments. Every day, an average of 159 householder are evicted for non- payment of rents or mortgages, a high number of whom are either vulnerable or have dependent children.

Former chef John Fraser emigrated to Spain from Inverness and was renting near Malaga, having found a jobs in a local bar. After being let go, he was unable to keep up his rental payments and is now on the streets after spending a few nights sleeping on the beach under a boat.

Fraser told reporters he was keeping alive with handouts from passers-by, as his work as a chef in London had always been through agencies, leaving him with no pension entitlement. He is attempting to find another job, but admits it may be difficult as he now has tendonitis, adding that he’s been alone since his wife died.

Over five million people, 25 per cent of the population, are out of work in Spain, with Red Cross worker Jeronimo Jiminez saying that ever increasing numbers of homeless are hitting the streets. The Red Cross is now campaigning for a homeless shelter to be opened in Marbella, one of the worst-affected areas.

A British Embassy spokesman told the Telegraph that there is an increase in welfare assistance claims from Britons with financial problems. He added that the Spanish authorities state there are Britons living in Spanish homeless shelters.
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