EXPERTS SAY THAT BRITISH PENSIONERS ARE SLOWLY MOVING HOME

By Humphrey Carter

THE Balearics is home to 11.000 British pensioners, a little less that 25 per cent of the total number of foreign pensioners who have decided to retire to the islands. At the end of this week, Sa Nostra Cultural Centre will be hosting a two-day conference on “Human Mobility and Global change,” with one of the topics on the agenda to be discussed by 40 experts is the free movement of European citizens, in particular pensioners. Pere Salva, professor of Human Geography at the Balearic University, revealed yesterday that there are 38.000 registered foreign pensioners living in the Balearics, 25.000 of which are German, 11.000 British and the remainder from various other countries. Most pensioners bought their retirement properties some years ago, having been regular holiday visitors to the region, and are living on a monthly income of between 1.200 and 2.400 euros. But, Salva said that a recent change has been noted in the flow of British pensioners.
A growing number are returning home, the majority because of the loss of their partner while, according to Salva, the Germans are staying because they have access to more German-speaking medical services and retirement homes. With regards to the foreign community as a whole in the Balearics, the Balearic University professor said that 25 per cent of EU residents are businesspeople, on both the large and small scale, or employed in the tourism sector. The conference has been organised by the International Geographic Union and will focus on present and past European migration patterns.
Balearic Minister for Commerce and the Economy, Pere Sampol, who will be attending the forum, said yesterday that global and migratory phenomena are so diverse that they need to be studied carefully so that the demands of an increasingly varied population can be met, whether in the Balearics or across Europe. Over the past decade, the Balearic population has grown into a multi-cultural society welcoming immigrants from way beyond the boundaries of the European Union.

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