By Imogen Calderwood
AN impassioned plea from a local Spanish restaurateur may help to prevent the demolition of hundreds of homes in the Axarquia region.
Antonio Martin, owner of restaurant Meson Sara, in Puente de Don Manuel, received rapturous applause as he told a politically-charged meeting how important expats were to the region.
The Spanish businessman told a meeting between pressure group Save Our Homes Axarquia (SOHA) and senior members of the PSOE socialist party that if it was not for them, many local businesses would ‘undoubtedly’ have failed.
It was the first time politicians had met with the group, who has around 300 members present at the meeting.
Philip Smalley, chairman of SOHA, explained: “The words of our guests (from the PSOE) suggested they felt that they were at the beginning of a long a difficult process which is strange as we have been fighting this fight for almost 10 years!”
“One of the problems we face is the merry-go-round of new faces at the Junta. Each year or so someone new takes over the ministry and the dialogue begins again.
“At least they have signaled to us that they are prepared to talk. I hope they do.”
Pressure group SOHA formed in January 2008 to fight against the demolition of their Axarquia homes after they were declared illegal.
The group demand that the law in Andalucia be changed to protect innocent homeowners who had bought their homes in good faith.