In a ruling made public on Tuesday by the provincial court of Cantabria in Castro Urdiales, the woman who has not been named was told she had squandered every opportunity to find employment and was no longer owed a living by her parents.
The court ruling acknowledged that parents are legally obliged to provide food and shelter to their offspring until they reach economic self-sufficiency, “unless that need is of the own child’s making”, reported Noticias de Navarra.
The woman had taken her parents to court after they told her it was time she stood on her own two feet.
In this case, the judge observed that the claimant had caused her penniless situation “through her own conduct” because she failed to finish school or obtain any qualifications and “despite relatives paying for her to attend courses in computer and office skills, she either failed to enrol or dropped out”.
The judge also observed that the 23-year-old had secured employment in her home town of Castro Urdiales as well as further afield in the south of Spain and even in London but had always left the job of her accord.
“She either claimed it was too much work, too many hours, not enough money” said the ruling before concluding that “the appellant's own behaviour after reaching the age of maturity – behaviour legally qualifiable as laziness and lacking productive use of time and opportunities – that has left said appellant in her current situation.”
Spaniards are among the latest in Europe to fly the nest. Data reveals that the average age of emancipation in Spain is 29 years-old, meaning young people spend an entire decade more living under their parents roofs than their counterparts in Sweden (which at 19 years, has the lowest age of emancipation within the European Union).
Only in Malta (31.1 years), Italy (30.1 years) and Greece (29.4 years)do parents have to put up with their offspring for longer.
A prolonged economic crisis and an unemployment rate reaching 26 percent at its peak – and almost 50 percent youth unemployment – has made it difficult for young people to find financial independence and a place of their own.