Immigration: Some Europeans are moving to Spain to escape huge energy bills

The sunny province of Alicante in eastern Spain, famous for its golden beaches, has become a beacon for European travelers.

In an effort to avoid higher energy bills this winter, some in the north of the continent are choosing towns on the Mediterranean, like Calpe, about 100 kilometers from Valencia.

In recent years, nearly half a million people from 98 different countries have moved to the Costa Blanca and its 200 km long coastline.

Most choose this area because the winters here are mild but with the cost of living crisis still ongoing, those lucky enough to work remotely in the north are reconsidering where they live and why.

According to Statistica, the data analysis platform, a single working adult in the UK needs to earn at least €28,000 to reach the minimum acceptable standard of living in 2022. Across the British Channel in France, the second largest economy in the Eurozone, forecasts Economic growth may be at risk as the war in Ukraine continues.

Anne Dingenen, a restaurateur in Calpe, says, “I think there’s a better quality of life here. 65% of my workers are Belgians, but I also have English, Spanish, French and German people., yeah.”

Because of the climate, more and more Belgians, British and Germans are making the change.

“There is no need to warm up here.

“People save money by coming here and not having to pay for gas or electricity, and now with prices going up I imagine more people will want to migrate,” says Hilda Backart, a Calpe City Council advisor.

Calpe is home to the largest Belgian community in Spain – which according to Annie Gaudens, president of the Belgian Friends Association, has a better quality of life here than back home.

“It is not possible for a pensioner to go to a restaurant every day in Belgium, but here it is! Here we are enjoying life.

“My daughter calls me and says, Mom, I paid 250 euros in bills for a month, and I say, well, I paid 28 euros. Because it’s sunny here.”

The cost of energy in Spain has doubled since the start of the war in Ukraine, and inflation now exceeds 10%.

However, in the southern and eastern coastal regions, winter temperatures rarely fall below their high teens, so central heating is not necessary.

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