Europe: Lebensraum with a View

At a pub near Shannon Airport, a newly landed Irish-American couple listened to the rich, incomprehensible patois of the regulars at the bar. "Just listen, Harry," breathed the wife. "They're talking Gaelic!" Actually, they were talking German. What the U.S. tourists did not realize was that the "natives" were squireens from West Germany who, like scores of their compatriots, have been eagerly buying up cut-rate Irish real estate.

In search of Lebensraum with a view, affluent West Germans in the past few years have swarmed across Europe on the biggest Iand-buying spree in their history. Germans have become Europe's heaviest buyers...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!