Apart from depleted regional health services, which have yet to recover from the 2008 recession when they were stripped back to save money, one of the biggest problems Spain, and many other Mediterranean countries, has is that the majority of the population live in cities and shoulder to shoulder in apartment blocks. Last year, 80.57 percent of the Spanish population lived in a city, and Spain has the highest proportion of flat-dwellers in Europe and the lowest percentage of people living in houses, according to a new report by Eurostat.
The latest figures on European housing reveal that two out of three Spaniards live in a flat, while in countries such as Britain, Croatia and Norway, more than 80 percent of people live in houses - mind you the UK’s problem with the pandemic is due to other “lifestyle” choices.
With such a high density of people living on top of each other in apartments, this poses a major challenge for Spain with regards to stemming and controlling the spread of the virus. Plus an extremely large university population is not helping either. For example, in Pamplona, the capital of Navarra which is now under total lockdown, there are 25,000 students from across Spain and Europe and, as is the case in Catalonia, should the universities be closed then they will obviously head home - some, sadly, carrying the virus.