Spanish discontent as soup kitchens spring up
Hundreds of thousands of Spaniards are facing ruin as bankruptcies and unemployment rise
Faced with losing his home if he cannot find €6,000 (£5,350) by the end of this week, Javier Martínez has resorted to desperate measures: the unemployed father-of-four is selling his own flat and throwing in another, free.
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The three-bedroom apartment in Tarazona, near Zaragoza in eastern Spain, is on the market for only €57,000. The former construction project manager is including a one-bedroom flat that he had been letting in an attempt to entice a buyer.
“I need to find the cash by May 15 or I may be declared bankrupt. I must provide for my children,” Mr Martínez said. He is one of hundreds of thousands of Spaniards facing ruin as Spain’s economy heads for meltdown.
The number of Spaniards unable to pay their debts has risen by 26 per cent to 2.7million in 2009, compared with the first four months of last year. During the same period 232,000 companies joined the list of bad debtors, a 67 per cent rise, according to AsNef-Equifax, a Spanish credit agency.
Bankruptcies are up 44 per cent in the first quarter this year against the final quarter of 2008, with the worst-hit sectors being services and construction.