Euro Crisis

Spain's Economic Turmoil Drives Latin Americans Back Home

Yes, Colombia is in better shape than Spain

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When Sergio Oliveros arrived in Spain he found a nation brimming with confidence.

The country was one of the fastest growing in the European Union, having introduced the euro a year previously, and unemployment was steadily falling. Prime minister Jose Maria Aznar had just been re-elected, and money was pouring into infrastructure, business ventures and creative industries.

"There was a sort of euphoria," he said. "Everyone was working, everyone was happy – there was such a buzz in the air. I was 20 and arrived as a student, and I remember being struck by how vibrant and energetic it was – and how different from Colombia, where I came from."

But fast-forward 13 years, and Mr Oliveros is back in Bogota.