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Spain's economy forces families to sleep at the wheel

Spain's economy forces families to sleep at the wheel
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Nearly a quarter of the workforce unemployed, the cost of borrowing going up – Spain’s financial crisis is often a list of seemingly sterile figures.

The reality behind the numbers though is even more stark.

In Barcelona, like elsewhere in Spain, there is a growing number of people who have no other choice but to live in their cars.

Silvestre lost his job as a baker and with it the means to pay his rent.

“I asked for help at city hall, but they have done nothing,” he said. “We’ve got the chance of a year in a council flat, but if I don’t find work we’re back on the street. So I prefer to stay here. There are more people like us.”

He now scrapes a living collecting scrap paper.
Barcelona’s council reckons there are around 350 people living in this makeshift motor-city.

Angel Miret from Barcelona Social Services said: “We are trying to do what we have to do. We recognise the need for decent housing, so we’re pushing for an increase in council flats and continuing to work with these people.”

In car-parks and old industrial estates there is a new generation living in mobile accommodation with nowhere else to go.