The socialist government of Spain is winning friends all over the EU. Half a million British expatriots are set to lose their healthcare under a new law. The government says the expats, many over 50 years old, are a burden on the system.

A spokesman for the regional health ministry said: ‘It is costing us an extra €1bn [£790m] annually to look after a million new residents as well as long-stay tourists, and our services are at saturation point.’

There’s more, though.

Back in 2002 the provincial government offered free healthcare to all expatriates of all EU nationalities in order to encourage foreign investment in the area’s then flourishing property market but today the market is enduring a significant downturn. In the past year alone, property has fallen by 40% on the Costa Blanca.

Why would property along the coast drop more than 40% in a single year. There has to be a reason for it, doesn’t it? When you read the previous story, you’d assume it was because of a housing slump. But if you are like me, you remember this story from earlier in the year.

Enforcing a much-neglected 1988 law, the Socialist government is getting tough about what constitutes coastal public domain — the strip of land stretching back from the water’s edge — and telling thousands of house and apartment owners their properties do not really belong to them.

“Out of the blue we’ve been told the house we have owned for more than 30 years is no longer ours,” said retired British electronics engineer Clifford Carter, 59, who lives with his Spanish wife in La Casbah, a beach side complex in eastern Spain.

“The house was built legally, but now they say we can only live here until we die but can’t sell the house or leave it to our children,” said Carter.

Along the Spanish coast, a protest group formed in January says it already represents 20,000 people. It notes that up to half a million others — apartment and villa owners and restaurant and hotel proprietors — could be affected. Most are Spaniards, but many are foreigners.

“This is the single biggest assault on private property we have seen in the recent history of Spain,” said Jose Ortega, a spokesman for the group and lawyer for many of those affected.

At least we know the reason that the prices dropped 40% in a year. The socialist government is destroying houses along the coast to “clean it up” and not allowing properties to be sold, thus holding down property taxes the provinces could raise. And then complaining that people are a burden on the system. Socialism is a wonderfully vicious circle.

Those British ex-pats should take heart. In a few years, even your home country wants you dead.

A newly released study shows that doctors and heart specialists who care for the elderly were all found to be influenced by the patients’ age when making their recommendations; it seems the age cut-off for comparison was 65.

The study found that too often resources are limited and doctors have to make difficult decisions.

On the plus side, at least they aren’t writing you lettings asking if they can kill you. Yet.