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TOPIC: ibiza

In The News

Worldcrunch Magazine #47 — Dark Summer

August 28 - September 3, 2023

Here's the latest edition of Worldcrunch Magazine, a selection of our best articles of the week from top international journalists, produced exclusively in English for Worldcrunch readers.


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Dark Summer: Inside The Harsh Living Conditions Of Ibiza's Seasonal Workers

A severe housing shortage means that many of those who come to serve the millions of tourists on the Spanish island can't find a decent place to sleep. Some wind up sleeping in their cars or on flea-infested mattresses. The spirit of Ibiza as an easy-going meeting place is fading away.

IBIZA — It's a world-renown paradise off the coast of Spain, with more than 2 million visitors arriving each year. But now, during the summer high season, the island of Ibiza has become a hell for the many people who work to serve the rush of tourism in hotels, restaurants, markets, shops, parking lots and airports.

The workers say the situation keeps getting worse, in particular due to the lack of affordable housing and the unavailability of sufficient housing resources provided by companies to accommodate their staffs.

More and more, the seasonal workers who come to the "Beautiful Island" to earn a decent salary — as is also happening on the nearby island of Mallorca with caravans — have to rely on their imagination, explorer skills, or simply making do to earn a much-needed income for their survival and that of their families throughout the year.

If you take a walk around Ibiza, you will soon find parking lots, some well-hidden and many of them near workplaces, filled with cars serving as living spaces, camper vans, old and new caravans, improvised camps in wooded areas, half-built buildings filled with mattresses, people sleeping on the beach.

Each worker finds their own way to make it through the season, if they manage to do so. In this report, we have spoken with some of those in this situation who have kindly shared their stories.

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Hippy Haven Ibiza Makes Its Peace With Jet Set

SAN ANTONIO — It's a mild evening on Passeig de Joan Carlos I, opposite Ibiza's historic Old Town. The setting sun bathes Life Marina Ibiza, an apartment development designed by renown Paris architect Jean Nouvel, in a surreal sea of color. At the Madrigal Bar, Champagne cocktails are being prepared. At the roundabout by the Botafoch Marina, the B.E.Y.S. beauty salon beckons with tempting treatments for hair, skin and nails.

And just as it might in a presentation video, the sonorous hum of a Ferrari Testarossa emanates as the car pulls into a driveway. The slim, well-tanned legs of a woman emerge from the vehicle, and the unmistakable red soles of Christian Louboutin shoes confirm the impression that this part of Ibiza is not for package tourists.

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