8 Mar, 2010 @ 20:04
1 min read

High-level help

HIGH-level diplomatic intervention has sparked moves to protect British homeowners in Spain.

Following a visit by Minister for Europe Chris Bryant, it was announced that Spanish civil servants will join the consul offices in Malaga and Alicante.

They will be primarily charged with giving advice on the demolition and planning problems that are afflicting expatriates.

Bryant explained: “I’m delighted to announce the agreement for an Andalucian Civil Servant to give local, informed advice to British citizens.”

As part of an active schedule, Bryant also visited Albox, in Almeria, where nine homes are due to be torn down by April 9.

The Minister for Europe warned that the housing demolition threats are harming Spain’s economic revival.

Bryant, cautioned that the ongoing problems are seriously undermining the recovery of Spain’s troubled housing market.

“The market is not going to recover quickly if pictures of bulldozers knocking down expats’ homes are appearing in British newspapers,” he warned.

However, the Euro MP also stressed that finding a solution to the problem was out of the British Government’s remit.

He added: “Obviously it’s not for us to tell the Spanish what to do, but whether it’s an amnesty or a change in the law, we are pushing for whatever solution is needed.”

Bryant had been speaking from outside the home of demolition-threatened couple John, 82, and Muriel Burns, 70.

And John Burns explained that, although any direct prevention action is out of their jurisdiction, at least officials are now taking note.

“It meant a great deal that they came and spoke to us. It was only meant to be an hour but they were here for two,” he said.

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 Comment

  1. Where will the jobs be advertised?

    When do the post-holders take up the post?
    Telephone numbers? e mails:


    Duration of contract?

    Accountable to whom?

    Who is paying their salaries?(apart from the taxpayer)

    Will they be empowered to intervene in a timely manner to halt unlawful demolitions ?

    Will they be able to determine where apparently blatant discrimination has taken place ? (e.g. Vera, Tolox etc).

    Will they organise immediate compensation for those who bought in good faith and who have demolition orders?

    Will they write a weekly report for publication?

    (Imminent demolition victims will be interested)

    How many posts per region?

    Ratio: How many officers per 220,000 people?

    How will they be able to they work within the present inept legal environment where the victim is declared cuplable and fined anything up to 50,000 eu for the culpability of others’ non-disclosure?

    How will they manage to administer a sense of justice and timeliness?

    How will their effectiveness be judged?
    How many languages will be spoken by the appointees?

    Will a trauma consultant be employed also?

    Interested. Axarquia.

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