A WELL-REMEMBERED turron advertisement urged the Spanish to ‘come home at Christmas.’
These began in the 80’s when Spain was gearing up for prosperity and returning for Christmas entailed a journey across Spain at most.
Now festive homecomings involve much longer journeys as the economic crisis pushes the newly-qualified further afield.
Spanish emigrants were a source of mainly unskilled labour in the past but in 2015, many whose families awaited them at Alicante-Elche were architects, engineers, scientists, nurses, doctors and journalists.
Most of them have jobs in Europe but others flew in from the US, Latin America, South Africa, Russia, Japan and China.
Approximately 32,000 Alicante residents work outside the country, and despite the economy’s modest upturn 3,504 people left the province between January and July, compared with 5,647 throughout 2014. In contrast only 910 returned here to live.