During the boom years of construction, some towns in the Vega Baja grew exponentially.
One such town was San Fulgencio where the population grew from 1,500 in 1990 to 12,800 by 2008. The majority of the newcomers were foreign buyers who eventually formed 70% of the population.
Now though, a lot of those pensioners from Britain, Germany and Scandinavia have either died or returned to their homelands. In just eight years the registered population of the town has fallen by 5,600. Many of the houses that were built are now empty except for holiday periods.
Obviously this drain has had a negative effect on businesses in the town and has severely effected the town hall coffers. Even with a reduced population, the town has to provide the same services but now with a much reduced budget.
I imagine that a number of the towns in the Vega Baja are facing the same plight to a lesser extent (none of them ever had near the same percentage of foreign residents as San Fulgencio). Here in Bigastro for example, the foreign population was much lower and so the effect will be much less.