British and German expats are selling up and moving out of Majorca because of the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
Hundreds of businesses were forced to close and that combined with high house prices and a shortage of financial aid has left many with no alternative but to give up their dream of living on this sun drenched Island. Some of them have been here for decades.
The financial crisis has hit middle and working-class Central Europeans very hard and concern about the health of their elderly relatives and the possibility of receiving more aid at home has persuaded many of them to leave Majorca in recent weeks.
The Facebook group Auswandern nach Mallorca, or Emigrate to Mallorca, which has 16,934 members, has been flooded with posts from Germans and Austrians who are considering moving.
“It’s a shame after having fulfilled our dream" says one.
The outbreak of coronavirus caused the complete collapse of the Tourism Sector in Majorca and the rest of the Balearic Islands, putting companies out of business and thousands out of work.
Auswandern nach Mallorca also has German, Austrian and Swiss members who are desperate to live and work in Majorca, but Doris Kirch who’s in charge of the Facebook page says that’s not as easy as it used to be.
"Many have had to close their businesses and premises and are leaving because of lack of money and yet there are others who still want to come and work and live in Majorca, but in the 20 years that I’ve been here it’s become increasingly difficult,” she said.
That’s an opinion shared by many other Central Europeans.
“Rents are high and the employment situation is difficult because of the coronavirus pandemic, so many foreigners have already had to leave the Island for economic reasons,” says Silvi Hirm, an Austrian Real Estate Agent who’s returned home temporarily but plans to come back to Majorca soon.
“The wealthy foreigners are staying and buying up more property because they want to invest their money out of fear, but the middle classes are leaving because they can’t pay their rent,” adds Hirm.
British Expats all over the Island are also shutting down properties and businesses and selling up in droves.
"We have been in Cala d'Or for 17 years and we’ve had several businesses and paid our taxes, but tomorrow we are closing Wave Bar because without air corridors there’s no tourists,” said Allison and Michael Holland.
“We have never asked for help and we’re proud to live here, but we have only been able to open for five weeks. Where is the aid for tourism companies?” they ask.
Jackie Codd, who’s Head of Age Concern, an NGO which helps English-speaking people who are in distress, goes even further.
“Some British retirees are going hungry and their dream has turned into a nightmare because Majorca is only affordable for a few now.”