11 Nov, 2009 @ 14:54
2 mins read

They’ve bottled it!

SPAIN has been let off the hook from punitive budget cuts, while the developed world wriggled out of a new climate deal in Barcelona.

It has emerged that a crucial EU vote to withhold 185 million euros as punishment for Spain’s ongoing property and environmental abuses was scrapped at the final hour.

The vote was to be taken after the scathing Auken report insisted Spain was not respecting the principles on which the EU was founded.

The news comes in the same week that climate change negotiations also stalled acrimoniously in Barcelona, with rich countries refusing further cuts in greenhouse emissions.

While politicians remain positive that a deal can be struck at the final hurdle in Copenhagen next month, developing countries nearly walked out of negotiations.

It happened after America and Europe riled the G77 group of poor nations by not agreeing to greater emission cuts.

They also refused to sign up for more monetary aid, despite paying lip service to a plan and insisted that the existing Kyoto treatment be scrapped in favour of a new international treaty.

Michael Cashman, MEP for the West Midlands, who has been extremely outspoken on the human rights abuses in Spain, described it as “a disappointing lack of progress.”

The moves have led to fears that only a weak deal can be struck at the global summit in Copenhagen next month.

UN talks director Yvo de Boer confirmed that little progress had been made on the key issues of emission targets or the amount of money allocated to developing countries to limit their emissions and adapt to climate change.

“Without these two pieces of the puzzle in place we will not have a deal,” he said.

It comes as the EU Parliament had the chance to take a decisive stance against the ongoing property abuses in Spain, but blew it.

President Jerzy Buzek passed up the opportunity to hold the scheduled vote to withhold money from Spain on the grounds that the proposed amendment was not eligible due to a technicality.

The lack of action has devastated thousands of Andalucian home owners facing the threat of demolition and raised serious questions about the effectiveness of the EU Parliament.

Michael Cashman, MEP for the West Midlands, who has been extremely outspoken on the human rights abuses in Spain, described it as “a disappointing lack of progress.”

He had expected a yes vote to put further pressure on Spain “to respect the legitimate property right of EU-citizens”.

“Since the adoption of the Auken report a disappointing lack of progress has been made and many of the recommendations have so far been ignored by the Spanish authorities.”

He explained that the most likely reason for the hold up, which meant missing the crucial cut off date for
next year’s budgets, was due to the current recession.

However this claim was roundly contradicted by popular pressure group Abusos Urbanisticos No (AUN), which suspected that politicians intervened behind the scenes.

President Charles Svoboda said: “This has definitely not increased our confidence of the EU, as it looks like they have arbitrarily pulled the plug on a very important issue.”

He added: “It was meant to be a signal of intent but it has become a disaster.”

Jon Clarke (Publisher & Editor)

Jon Clarke is a Londoner who worked at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as an investigative journalist before moving permanently to Spain in 2003 where he helped set up the Olive Press. He is the author of three books; Costa Killer, Dining Secrets of Andalucia and My Search for Madeleine.

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