'Zombie Buildings' Plague Spain's Economy
"Some 1.5 million unfinished, unsold or unwanted residential units stand scattered across the country, products of a still-deflating housing bubble that threatens to undermine Spain's broader economy for years to come. It is the hangover after an epic fiesta, a period Spaniards now refer to as 'cuando pensábamos que éramos ricos'-'when we thought we were rich.'
Once hailed as early proof of the success of the euro, Europe's single currency, Spain's low interest rates from the mid-1990s and its proximity to richer neighbors ushered in a decade-long period of prosperity.
Now, as a recovery remains elusive across the continent, Spain's ability to revive growth is considered a vital test of the future stability of the currency and Europe's economic health."
The building boom and a fleet of bad loans have left Spain's housing market in a painful spot, one similar to that being faced in the U.S.