I have been saying that the buying rush by
the Brits in southern Europe was mistaken, and they will be
buying into falling markets, but no-one listens to me. The
fact that I have been doing this for so long and have never
yet been proved wrong seems to cut no ice. So be it. But now
we have the first signs of what I have long suspected, the
destruction of the tourist costas in Spain.
I can't remember when I started saying that buying in Spain
was a really bad idea, but I think it was in 2009. I started
off by showing photographs of a town right on the
Spanish/Portuguese border, just to the north of Ayamonte. I
estimated that it was the size of Welwyn Garden City and had a
population of maybe a dozen people. That's people in
A couple of years ago I briefly lived there. It was certainly
busier than ten years earlier, but it was far from full.
I did reconnoitre the whole area back in 2009 and found
tourist town after tourist town with masses of empty
apartments and villas right the way from Isla Cristina round
to Almeria. And I advised folks thinking of moving to Spain to
think again. It seemed to me that it would take a decade or
more to cope with clearing the backlog of homes for sale
created by some serious over-building.
Things were just starting to pull back when the government
quite deliberately trashed the economy. In my opinion it was a
deliberate and malicious thing to do, and I find it hard to
deny those who say this is all part of a plan the wreck the
world, and then take over. I have to say I still think it is
just an example of how stupid the average politician is.
Sometimes I wonder if any of them ever went to school. And at
the top of the tree we have Batty Biden. All I can say is that
I am glad I am not a citizen of the USA, because they have
become the laughing stock of the planet. The activities of
Biden are beyond belief, and nobody seems to want to do
anything about it.
Maybe the doom-mongers are correct. It is clear to anyone that
Batty Biden should be in a home for the terminally bewildered.
But it is obviously to someone's advantage that the number one
country on the planet has a top-cat who is quite clearly in
the later stages of alzheimers.
As a president he has some serious competition for idiocy, but
he clearly tops the lot. Let me refer you to one of my cat
cartoons. Here's the url. It might amuse you.
(Apparently you have to go to Instagram and search on "Percy
So, what do you do?
If you are living in Spain, it is now much too late to do a
runner. Same in Italy. You guys are now well and truly in the
soup, and it can only get worse. The resolve of countries in
the North of the continent is getting stronger by the week
that they have no intention of writing blank cheques for those
in the south. Even if the Scandinavians hang on in there, and
the Netherlands dithers for another decade I dont think that
will alter the fundamental fault line that runs across Europe.
The second issue is that politics is clearly failing, and the
voice of business is starting to get louder. I am surprised it
has taken so long for this to happen. My argument used to be
that there will undoubtedly be a Brexit deal because various
business interests will twist a few political arms. That
should have happened two years ago, but is only just beginning
to happen now. The business angle will get stronger as the
political and economic chaos spreads. The first signs are now
emerging in Germany. How long it takes to get to a serious
groundswell is a matter for guesswork, and I dont do guessing.
But one does have to ask how long is Germany going to backstop
Southern Europe's economic collapse?
Spain's economy rests on three legs: Catalonia, the Basque
country, and the southern Costas. At the moment Catalonia, the
Basques, and Galicia will quite happily put two fingers up to
Madrid. The strength of the tourist areas depends upon the
hospitality sector, plus in large part the Brits. Government
decrees have put the hospitality business out of business, and
now they are making sure the Brits get out as well. If this
continues much longer Spain will start to sink back into the
I used to call Spain my home, and have lived there for a great
many years. I also know my Spanish history, and I have always
had a very poor view of their Catholic Majesties, who threw
out the Moors, then threw out the Jews, and instigated a
top-down society that languished for half a millennium. When I
first walked the length and breadth of Spain, and indeed,
spent half a year as the focal point in a small village in
Northern Spain where the only other person who could read and
write was the village priest, the country might have been
stuck in the year 1450 for all they could show for the passing
of the centuries.
If you want to catch up on my story of those times, do read my
I mention those times because throwing out the life-blood of
the nation by their Catholic Majesties, and instituting a
religious and social lockdown, and destroying the middle
class, was what wrecked Spain. That is happening again before
our eyes as the government follows a route that leads straight
to disaster. How long the lunacy lasts, and what comes next is
beyond my ability to guess, but you will note that I no longer
live in the country which once became my spiritual home.
Spain is in very real danger of returning to a series of
states. Madrid has lost the plot, and is in danger of losing
parts of the country.
And do remember that Spain is not the only country south of
that fault line. Italy is, in many respects, two countries
which straddle that fault line. Get on the wrong side and you
are going to face tough times ahead.
Former Yugoslavia straddles that fault line but I am unsure
where to put the countries that used to form that post second
world war amalgamation. My gut feeling is that there is still
an undercurrent of instability in that region, which is lovely
in parts, but economically still a bit of a mess, and not the
place a sensible person would sink a significant amount of
Greece is squarely south, and squarely a wrecked economy.
But I have for some time suggested that buying anything in the
EU or Southern Europe is premature. There is still a long way