TAX authority Hacienda’s statistics revealed Matadepera (Barcelona) as having the highest average income in Spain.
“I saw it on the news and now my wife is acojonada (frightened),” a retired businessman told El Pais. “It’s an invitation to burglars,” he said.
Matadepera is in any case an affluent municipality 40 kilometres from Barcelona with a population of 9,000.
A century ago it was an inland summer retreat for wealthy textile industrialists from Terrassa and Sabadell, many of whom in due course chose to settle there.
Approximately a tenth of Maradepera’s residents inhabit the Old Quarter and the remainder now live on urbanisations where practically every house has a swimming pool.
“But people are very discreet here,” a local developer explained.
Although Matalapera was already visibly prosperous, average earnings, according to Haciendas’ 2019 figures, shot up fourfold to an annual €218,788.
The town’s place at the head of the list of Spain’s highest incomes is undoubtedly due to the presence of Manuel Lao who two years ago sold Cirsa, his gambling and gaming machine company to Blackstone for more than €2 billion.
Not that Lao is Matadepera’s only big name, as it is also home to Repsol president, Antonio Brufau as well as Xavi Hernandez, the former Barcelona player who now manages the Al-Saad football team in Qatar.