The dream of retiring overseas to a life of sun and relaxation is the lure for many expats.
Unfortunately, the grass is not always greener on the other side of The Channel and those dreams of a retirement paradise can soon turn into a living hell.
The quiet resort town of Mojacar, on Spain’s south coast between Almeria and Cartagena has dozens of retired expats up in arms as part of a 200-strong group of residents campaigning against late night music and antisocial behaviour.
Plataforma Mojacar Sin Ruidos – Mojacar Without Noise – claims young out of control drinkers vandalise homes and make life a misery for older residents.
“The problems stem from the bars staying open late and pumping out loud music,” said a spokesman.
“Even though new by-laws were designed to tackle the problem, the police still can’t cope and tougher action needs to be taken.”
Bricked up at home
Meanwhile, in Brugairolles, a village near the historic city of Carcasonne, France, neighbours came to the rescue of an elderly British expat couple who were walled into their home after a long-running property dispute with neighbours.
Faith and John Dyson, both in their 70s, were not the victims of disgruntled foreigners, but another British couple.
They claimed the Dysons trespassed on a private lane that they owned, but the Dysons allege that they have a shared access.
Neighbours came to the couple’s aid and pulled down a brick wall and boards nailed across doors and windows trapping the Dysons in their home.
“The Dysons were terrorised for years but it has got worse since March,” said mayor Alain Labattut.
Dubai divorce shock
Divorce rates among expats are on the up in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
While the city’s divorce rate increased by 40%, the number of expat divorces increased by 61% since 2011.
The trend among expat break-ups has picked up pace over the years – with 445 in 2011, 584 in 2012 (up 31%) and 719 in 2013 (up 23%).
The Dubai Statistics Office released the latest figures and commented that expat divorces were rising because many couples had no support network to deal with issues stressing their relationships.
A spokesman also commented religious and cultural problems also hit expat and mixed marriages in the Emirates as the city is a ‘melting pot’ of nationalities.