Now that we have a group of participants, we must begin taking some practical steps. We have to select a country. As I’m sure each of you has a preference, but only one country can win. I hope that whichever country we select, the arguments for it will be so compelling that every one of you stays onboard. To make the process a little easier I have made a matrix, the first one with essential requirements:
Immediately two contenders fall short: although there are a lot of beautiful houses to be had in France and Italy, there are no depopulated villages. That is neither the case in Hungary, Croatia and Serbia, but real estate there is so affordable that you could buy several houses in an existing village. Which is not the concept we have in mind, so I think these countries should also be dropped, but perhaps there are valid arguments to consider them after all.
The following matrix compares secondary requirements between countries:
Bureaucratic requirements have yet to be investigated. Both Spain and Portugal have programs in place to make depopulated areas attractive to new residents. In the Spanish autonomous region of Galicia alone, an estimated 1,000 villages are empty. This, in combination with small municipal sizes, a significant number with fewer than 100 inhabitants, makes Spain and in particular the north-western autonomous region of Galicia a clear front runner. What do you think?