26 Oct, 2006 @ 04:43
1 min read

Spain told to scrap Valencia Property Law

THE European Commission
has ruled that Spain has two
months to {mosimage}change controversial
land laws that have
wrecked the holiday home
dreams of many northern
Europeans. The so-called
“land-grab” rules have left foreign
home owners in Valencia
region facing huge unexpected
bills and the partial or total
loss of their property.

The ruling comes after up to
15,000 foreign residents petitioned
the European
Commission. UK Labour
Euro-MP Michael Cashman,
who represented the mostly
British, French, Belgian and
German property owners, said
“I’m delighted to hear the
Commission is continuing
action against Spain in what
has become a long and painful
fight for justice for many
affected by this unjust and
inhumane law.

“This progress came about as
a result of people power, and
shows that the EU can and
does stand

up for its citizens’
fundamental rights.”

Known as the “land grab” law,
the 1994 Valencia Land and
Town Planning Law has so far
allowed 20,000 compulsory
purchases of property to be
made, which the national government
says were to ensure
individual land owners were
not able to block community
development plans. In reality,
say campaigners, developers
have used the law to reclassify
rural land
as urban,
t h e m
h a s e
rights on
buildings and the right to
charge home owners for often
the unnecessary installation of
infrastructure such as roads
and drains. This has left many
foreigners bankrupt and with
shattered retirement dreams.
The Commission’s battle with
Madrid has been ongoing and
follows the amendment to the
law last December which a
Commission spokesman
described as still in breach of
European public procurement
regulations. “Spain now has
two months to provide a satisfactory
response to the
Commission’s justifiable concerns.”
said the statement.

If Madrid fails to respond adequately
to the ruling the
Commission, supported by the
European Parliament, can
take Spain to the European
Court of Justice.

Staff Reporter

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