Lazy Youth

A judge in Cantabria (northern Spain) has rejected a 23-year-old woman’s request for an income of €300 a month from her parents.

While there have been other cases in which parents have been legally forced to maintain their offspring into their 30s if they have not yet become financially independent, this landmark ruling is based on the judge’s conclusion that the woman in question is “too lazy to earn a living”.

Although youth unemployment in Spain remains high and many young people continue to depend on their parents financially long after they have left school, the woman at the centre of this court case had neither finished secondary school nor any of the IT courses her parents had paid for. While judges have repeatedly upheld the rights of dependent adults to receive economic help from their parents, parents are increasingly seeking advice and support in order to rid themselves of such obligations when it’s obvious that their offspring are making no attempt to make use of the education and opportunities their parents have already provided for them.

In a country where one in three under 30-year-olds has failed to finish secondary education, the numbers of adults who depend entirely on their parents financially is incredibly high. A name has even been coined for them: los ni-ni (literally the ‘neither-nors’) as they neither work nor study! Most receive no state handouts, and live at home with no prospect of earning a living or starting a family. Thanks to the Bank of Mum and Dad, however, many bear the burden extraordinarily well.

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