22 May, 2009 @ 21:04
1 min read

Expats Against Corruption


Britons to fight against corrupt town halls in European elections

By Lenox Napier

A PAIR of expatriates are standing against Spanish corruption in the forthcoming European elections on June 7.

Both Sean O’Curneen Canas and Jacqueline Cotterill are representing the Liberal Party in Spain.

They are demanding action over illegal construction, crooked mayors and the ‘land grab’ law.

On top of that, the pair – who stand for the CDL (or Centro Democratico Liberal) in Spain – want an end to bogus bank guarantees, fraud and above all, compensation for buyers whose homes have been ruled as illegal and knocked down.

O’Curneen Cañas, who is half Irish and half Spanish, has lived much of his life in Madrid, but studied in London as an astrophysicist.

Top of the CDL’s list in Spain, he has worked for the BBC and for the past four years has been based in Brussels.

Briton Jacqueline Cotterill, a long time resident of Spain and currently deputy-mayor of Parcent (Alicante), is fourth on the list and hopeful of also being elected.

Jacqueline works closely with anti property abuse association AUN.

The CDL is the Spanish arm of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), which is the Union’s third largest political force, with 100 MEPs.


  1. Hi

    You may well have recieved this from other agencies here in Almeria Spain, if so i do apologise, but we are seeking as much support publicly as possible.

    Would it be at all possible to publicise this important public meeting, it gives us a chance to hear from the horses mouth, “the Auchen report,” and it’s consequences, that was passed recently by the European parliament David Hammerstein was the only Spanish MEP to vote for it, and although an MEP for the Green party, I for one feel sure he wants a speedy solution to the report, as the consequences are dire.

    This is probably going to be one of the most press covered and publicised discussions, and needs the support of all affected illegal home owners, and land grabbed victims, to ensure that all go away understanding there is a human element to all these issues, and if we do not support the meeting, and turn out, then why should they take notice of the apathy of those so badly affected. “Urbanos No” groups have paid out money for this meeting, the least we can do is support it. It is open to all the public.

    If the Auchen report recommendations are upheld, this would have grave consequences to the Spanish economy, the Spanish reputation in Europe, and high unemployment and crime. Which will in fact affect all of us, legal or not, Spanish or Ex Pat.

    ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION with DAVID HAMMERSTEIN (European Member of Parliament), ecologist groups and regional associations joined in the fight against urban abuse

    AULAN (Abusos Urbanísticos Levante Almeriense – ¡No!), in collaboration with its sister association AUAN, has organised a round table discussion for Saturday, May 30, beginning at 11am in the conference hall of the Hotel Best, Mojácar Playa.

    In the Round Table, participating from Almería Province, will be:

    * Ecologistas en Acción (Almería)
    * Abusos Urbanísticos Almanzora – ¡No! (AUAN, Almanzora Valley)
    * Levante Sostenible (LSOS)
    * Abusos Urbanísticos Levante Almeriense – ¡No! (AULAN, Almería Coast)

    From Valencia will come members of the first and largest anti-urban abuse group and instigator of the Auken Report submitted to the European Parliament (containing a resolution condemning the lack of basic rights in Spain for homeowners, as well as multiple abuses of the environment):

    * Abusos Urbanísticos – ¡No! (AUN, Valencia)

    As special guest:

    * David Hammerstein, European Member of Parliament

    The goal of the meeting is to enable the various groups to begin working together towards demanding that the recommendations outlined in the European Parliament resolution contained in the Auken Report be carried out.

    The event is open to all interested members of the public. In the audience will also be candidates from the upcoming European elections:

    Thanks in anticipation


  2. We in Asturias are trying to raise awareness regarding how to organize against corrupt local politicians. People are well aware of the corruption, but lack experience in political organization against it, though in Parres-Arriondas things are beginning. There are demonstartions. But we need help.

  3. the thing about this article on corruption is simples…not all spanish councillors are corrupt,unfortunately all the councillors who have been investigated have been found to be corrupt.
    the day that the incidences of “spanish practices” will cease in spain is the day i walk on water. never happen. too ingrained into the spanish psyche. there are a lot of newish cars in my small village,i know all the owners.not one of them has earned the money for the cars, they have all sold houses and land to pay for them.
    their children see how easy this money is to get and wonder why they should get an education and a job,when all they have to do is follow the footsteps of their fathers.

  4. To CAS. Are you in touch with AUN Valencia and are you aware of the National Federation of anti-urban abuse groups due to be inaugurated in Madrid this month? Tel. 620102850 for further information. Christine.

  5. I am currently out of USA. But I have been in touch with AUN for several years. In some weeks we will begin serious efforts to organize in Asturias. But that will be difficult as most expats in our area have their head in the sand – somehow think that if they are polite and proper Brits no one could possible swindle them.

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