The richest town in Spain is not Spain

The richest town in Spain is not Spain

Matadepera Town Hall. (Kippelboy / Wikipedia)

© External
Matadepera City Council. (Kippelboy / Wikipedia)

When my wife was little, her parents lived with the minimum in a village house that today is worth a potosí, but that then was sinking into ruin. Without a penny, all his hobbies had to be free. They liked to pick almonds from the trees on the country road and break them with stones, play the guitar, tell stories, dress up, read books from the library and heat the water for the bath with firewood in a prehistoric kitchen. Also call the real estate agencies to arrange visits in the most expensive houses and pretend they were going to buy them.

This made Andrea nervous, but her parents loved it. They got by with that level of nonchalance that is only available to people who really dive for money, they grabbed the girl and went to the real estate. Before visiting each palace with the vendor they practiced grimaces of icy contempt. Then they would walk through rooms of impossible size, through corridors where you could house forty families and they would look out of pearly windows with disgusted faces. They objected to everything. If the toilet was not carved in marble and the taps were not made of gold, it was as if they had been insulted.

There is nothing to suggest that one enters a golden mile. Neither arches like the one in Marbella, nor crazy sculptures in roundabouts like those in Pozuelo

My wife grew up in that environment with Roald Dahl’s fairy tales, and perhaps this was what allowed her to develop a sixth sense that now allows her to find out how much money people have in their pockets at a glance. Unlike me, Andrea is not dazzled by appearances. Discard the tacky and point out the real millionaires with a precision you’d like to Carmen Lomana. There are privileged perspectives that are only reached from the most absolute lack of privilege, that is, from the other side of the poverty line.

Well, when I learned that the small town of Matadepera (9,000 inhabitants) is now the richest town in Spain, I decided that this trip could only be done with my wife sitting in the passenger seat. Matadepera can be reached in forty minutes by car from the door of my house but, in economic terms, it is at an astronomical distance not only from Barcelona, ​​but from Pozuelo de Alarcón, which is now the second largest of the Millonetis villas. They are 166,006 euros per inhabitant in Matadepera in front of the 58,143 of Pozuelo.

© Provided by El Confidencial

EFEMatadepera has climbed from fourth to first place among towns with more than 1,000 inhabitants after multiplying its average gross income by four

At the entrance there is nothing to suggest that one enters a golden mile. Neither Jurassic arches like the one in Marbella, nor crazy sculptures in roundabouts like those in Pozuelo, nor Egyptian temples brought stone by stone: nothing. Campo Catalán del Vallés, a normal roundabout with its typical stelade, attached little chalets, yellow churros spray painted on the asphalt as in the rest of the roads in Catalonia and a lot of exercise machines for retired people next to a cycle lane full of athletes over fifty years.

I glance at Andrea in case her dollar detector has started to jump, but she touches her belly with a neutral expression that remains unchanged as she crosses the center and after parking at the height of the sports hall. The richest town in Spain is a birria, I think, and almost apologetically I explain to Andrea the context of the data, as the inhabitants of Matadepera have done to the press all week, fearful that bands of Kosovar Albanians will now attack the town attracted by articles like this.

The holder of the richest town in Spain is bad for many inhabitants. It almost sounds offensive to them. How about Spain? Where do you think you are?

The per capita income data is a mirage, like the wealth of nations. Here there are very few residents and, for four or five years, a few millionaires have given them to buy houses. Why do they do it? Why is the most exaggerated wealth suddenly concentrated around this mountain and not, for example, around the one beyond? It’s a mystery. Money usually calls money since it was invented.

There are millionaires who come looking for peace of mind after a life dedicated to ringing coins, such as Manuel Lao (2,000 million euros of assets), the businessman who filled all the bars in Spain with slot machines, owner of CIRSA Until he sold it for a million to Blackstone. Others like Xavi Hernandez (10 million he earns a year in Qatar: who knows what he has), they shop in Matadepera for family matters: their father lives there.

© Provided by El Confidencial

Àlex Lázaro

Celebrities prefer to live away from the center. Sant Fruitós de Bages, Matadepera, Sant Just Desvern and Sant Cugat are some of the chosen localities

However, as the clerk of a normal pastry shop tells us, all this stuff about the “richest town in Spain” is a statistical hoax: the rich do not live in the village, but in their own area. They don’t go down, they don’t spend and they don’t show themselves. They add to the numbers with their mere presence: that’s all. And I think that’s how wealth really works, because they say there are evictions here too, and I see posters pasted on the streetlights of people offering to care for the elderly and the sick. They all lived in a quiet town, rather boring and predictable, until the mountain palaces appeared as motherships and the economic figures turned the landscape into a headline. But in the town it is not noticeable.

By the way: the holder of the richest town in Spain is bad for many inhabitants of Matadepera. It almost sounds offensive to them. How about Spain? But where do you think you are? Of the twelve councilors of the town hall eleven are independentists. Has won Convergence All the municipal elections except for some, which Esquerra won a few years ago, for a change, and from the PP, PSC, Podemos and Vox neither shadow, nor are they nor expected. The only dissident councilor is from Ciudadanos as a consolation prize.

© Provided by El Confidencial

Jose Rodriguez Sojo

The economic gap between the north and south of the country translates into a much higher life expectancy in areas with high average per capita income

Otherwise, Matadepera is a town of invisible wealth that would kill any cock from Pozuelo with boredom. Here are the same bars turned into “gastrotheques” not because of development, but because of the fashionable television pedantry; the same Chinese bazaars, the same casal, the same wastebaskets and the small difference that, if you stare at the windows of real estate agencies, you are left with plastic. Assortment of cases with a pool, all over 300,000 euros and with really obscene peaks. “Look,” says Andrea, “that bigger houses don’t even carry a price.” We look at Idealista and see that most of the town is sold forr nine million euros. Nine. Millions. Of euros.

So Matadepera’s wealth is best seen on the internet. Back in the car, I ask the millionaire expert I share my life with what her verdict is. “Let’s see, here there is money even if it doesn’t seem like it. A lot of Ralph Lauren, a lot of pearl, about the real estate companies that are trying to hunt down more millionaires and also there are many ladies who seem to have just left the hairdresser ”. I ask him if he wants us to come live here when we’re filthy rich. “Not a joke.”


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