The world recession has hit Spain badly, and although the politicians shouted triumph when 600 people found jobs last month, Tenerife is suffering even worse than the mainland.
The building industry was dragged along in the wake of the time-share boom and subsequent collapse, and thousands of jobs were lost - six hundred hardly makes a dent in those figures.

The village where we live is surrounded by unsold apartments and houses - they call them 'villas' but they look like terraced houses to me. I walked past these this morning and I think two might be occupied. I heard that the builders were selling them off at 'cost price' = 60,000 euros.

One of the more sensible laws introduced here in the past decade was that any 'urbanisacion' must begin with its infrastructure - roads, pipes, electricity -to avoid the nightmare of people buying property without these basic amenities. The unfortunate aftermath of this is that when the building firms went bust they left behind hundreds of roads that lead nowhere and serve nothing.

The piles of building materials have gone and the fences have decayed, so people walk the empty streets for exercise or to let their dogs crap on the rough ground, careful not to fall foul of the many traps where desperate, hungry people have taken the drain covers and stripped electricity cables to sell for scrap.

There are a couple of security men - one obviously sleeping in an old portable site office - but apart from that an eerie silence hangs over these roads to nowhere.


  1. You're painting a very bleak picture. Here's hoping things pick up soon.

  2. So sad and depressing, Lizy. Here road projects are going on apace - they're very keen on road building. Maybe the market for overseas property has been saturated for now - people do still want to move, but they are nervous. The same has happened in China though - whole 'towns' of empty buildings are just rotting in silence. When you think of the homeless people everythwere, it's so wrong.

  3. It looks very spooky and bleak, like the opening shots of an apocalypse film. You're so right that 600 jobs is a drop in the ocean - I know governments try to find the positive out of everything, but it just makes them sound out of touch with reality.

  4. We lived in the States for a while, and I remember seeing some of these 'new' ghost towns where the same thing had happened when the banking bubble burst. Let's hope things improve everywhere soon.


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