21 Jan, 2010 @ 12:59
1 min read

Zapatero stung by land-grab criticism

Zapatero stung by land-grab criticism

THE Spanish Prime Minister has come under fire for the Valencia land-grab laws that are destroying expatriate homes.

Zapatero – visiting the European Parliament in Strasbourg – was criticised by UKIP Euro MP Marta Andreasen for the ongoing housing abuses.

Andreasen – MEP for the South East – named four constituents who now face financial ruin.

Among those were Len and Helen Prior whose Almeria home was controversially pulled down in January 2008.

“We want a solution now. We want the people to be able to live in the houses they bought.”

“They need to be granted fair compensation,” Andreasen warned Zapatero – now holding the EU presidency for the next six months.

“We want a solution now. We want the people to be able to live in the houses they bought.”

Andreasen added that Zapatero may now face a campaign to block EU subsidies to Spain unless he puts a halt to the demolition of expatriate properties.

Thousands of homes in Spain have been destroyed without compensation given to their owners.

The European Court of Justice has already ruled the ‘land-grab- law to be illegal but defenceless homeowners are still at the mercy of developers.

A loophole in the 1994 Valencia land and town planning law enabled land to be reclassified as urban without the owner’s permission.

Visit Andreasen’s attack at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZD0wk5cK4LU

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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  1. Yes he really has to sort it not only for the sakes of all of the illegal build victims ,of which we are one but for the sake of his countrys welfare, bad press could cripple it

  2. “We really do need action now”, Ms. Willmott said. There is a fair chance that this pressing issue, thanks to the speakers, keeps surfacing on the agenda of the European Parliament for months to come. With elections coming up next year Mr. Zapatero knows that he risks being ‘hit’ politically, left, right and centre if he does not resolve this issue. But where’s the coverage of what the Andalucian goverment and parliament are up to?

  3. Nearly right Fred. Who is my MEP for the axarquia? How many votes did they get to win the election? How many unhappy expats are out there who didn’t vote? How many spanish voters are out there who are fed up with local government corruption? Why is it so hard to find out?

  4. Spano Zappo cannot sort out the land grab problems, he in keeping with most of the other socialist E.U. leader’s’. Has no mental capacity for actually solving their nations’ problems, the only thing any of them are good at is claiming expenses and amassing their own personal fortune.

  5. What all non-voters tend to forget is their own power.

    Who pays the salaries for these well paid people who use and abuse their powers (on your behalf)?

    YOU DO.

    Who is the servant? The paid recipient of your money.

    Who is the master? YOU ARE.




  6. Christine is right. You have the vote (local and European – if you’re empadronado), so use it. Trouble is, it’s the same here as in the UK: everybody moans but they don’t use their vote to do something about it. There are one million Brits alone living in Andalucia, not to mention countless thousands of other foreign immigrants. Problem is you’re not all empadronados. You could have a huge influence on who gets elected, both to local Ayuntamientos and to the European Parliament. So stop moaning, get on the padrón and VOTE!!!

  7. As PEDRO says: “… get on the padrón …” A mass of many very worthwhile things would happen with the administration of your local Spanish environment.

    The “padrón” is NOT about identifying you for tax purposes … it’s about adding you and your family to the known list of ‘local voters’ — and very significant practical benefits result from that … more policemen locally, better health services and more doctors, more farmacias, better local services. And that’s just for starters.

    And it gives you the chance and the right to actually add YOUR vote to all the debates on local, provincial, regional and Spanish national issues … like this sick business of demolishing peoples’ homes.

    As PEDRO says: “… get on the padrón …” Many thousands of expats are holding back and not adding their voices to debates where they ought to be INFLUENCING the outcomes — not sitting back passively and just moaning that “it’s all wrong”.

    Get on the padrón — and put you and your family in a position to make a difference.

    And tell your friends and neighbours to do the same. Then all us residente expats might stand a chance of turning local politics onto an honest heading.

  8. No way, José! (sorry, Fred!) I love it here – despite the terrible weather we’ve been having! Besides, the internet works worldwide – didn’t you know?
    No, I just thought I’d have a break from the banality of the OP threads, then someone told me you’d been quite amusing lately….so, I came back to have a look, but didn’t find anything remotely funny from you…just your usual pointless, negative, ersatz-banter…so maybe I’ll disappear again for a while…

  9. Oh come on Pablo, stay for a while and post some stuff – you know you love it really.

    Regarding the padrón, a new poll shows over 70% of expatriates questioned are planning to leave Spain as soon as they can, so registering on the padrón, whilst of course a good idea, may not be as effective in the long-term.

    So what’s your take on this lovely country where you buy a house, live there for a decade, pay taxes, and then get told your house is illegal and being demolished, Pablo? Would you love it here so much if that happened to you? I think not.

  10. Whilst I have every sympathy for people who have suffered what you describe, and would, of course, not be happy if it happened to me, I’m pretty confident I took all the right steps to prevent it happening. But, who knows?
    As for the poll you quote, how representative was the sample? No ex-pats I know (a lot) are remotely thinking of going back to Blighty, despite the dreadful weather here, weather damage to their homes, the increasing cost of living, their devalued pensions, etc, etc.
    Like me they love the steadier pace of life, the Andalucían way of life, their good Spanish friends and neighbours (we’ve integrated, you see, and have taken the trouble to learn some Spanish), the food, the clean air, the wide open spaces… I could go on, but I’ve more important things to do than banter with you, Fred … like fly to the UK to sort out my flooded house there!

  11. Thanks Yerma,
    I wanted the information but I also wanted people to talk about this too. Registering on the padronado doesn’t seem to automatically qualify you for a vote as I, my wife and two other expat couples we know locally are registered but while the staff from the Ayuntemiento confirmed that, we were not on the list of eligible voters at the polling station. They just shrugged and informed us it was an error but we still coundn’t vote.
    We as expats need not only to talk about this issue but organise other expat voters, put forward our own candidates and scare the bejeezus out of those assuming they will get another five year term at the trough.

  12. You could be, Fred … You just have to have the right attitude and make the effort! Going back to doing something more interesting now… delicious dinner, pleasant company, good wine at an affordable price, before I head off back to the UK tomorrow to sort my house out! Have a nice evening! If I get bored, I might post something from oop north!

  13. Ben – Being registered on the padrón just means that you´re acknowledged as a resident. This is good as the pueblo gets more money from the regional authority. You don´t have to be an official resident to do this – anyone who owns a property in the pueblo can do this (even a holiday home).Voting is different – it´s a bit like the UK, you should get a form through the post asking if you want to register to vote (printed in various languages) which you have to send back to the Ayuntemiento. They will then send you a voting card a while before the election. If you don´t get one go and ask.

    Pablo – couldn´t agree more (although we have no property in the UK anymore) we´re here because we love Andalucia and getting to know the people, the language and the culture

  14. Hi, Yerma. Glad you feel the same way as me about life here in Andalucía.
    As an aside, I’m intrigued by your “nom de plume”… anything to do with the play by Federico García Lorca?

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