9 Feb, 2011 @ 11:30
1 min read

Andalucia’s natural parks under threat from new law

ENVIRONMENTALISTS are up in arms over a new law that could allow golf courses and other urban developments in protected natural spaces.

Both Greenpeace and Ecologistas en Accion fear that projects, like the controversial El Algarrobico hotel, could be legalized by the back-door with the new law.

The Junta decree, which both groups have been battling for two years, gives more leeway to approve projects inside a total of 24 natural parks.

The new law – which has been introduced to boost economic activity – will permit schemes that ‘bring economic development’ to the parks.

But green groups believe the law, which was passed last week, is open to abuse by the 238 municipalities inside the parks.

Ecologistas en Accion, which is appealing the decision at Andalucia’s Supreme Court, feels ‘cheated’ with the final wording of the decree.

Andalucia boss Juan Clavero explained that the law made way for all sorts of industrial and tourist developments, including 4×4 routes and golf courses.

“It opens the door to everything,” he said. “We are completely opposed to it”.

Further opposition came from the Asociación de Agentes de Medio Ambiente de Andalucía (AAMAA), which said the law “gives precedence to bricks over conservation.”

President Antonio Gonzalez, said: “It marks a 180 degree turn in the conservation policy of the Ministry of the Environment.”

The law was passed just a week after Rosa Aguilar, Spain’s Environment Minister, insisted Almeria’s Cabo de Gata natural park would ‘soon be free’ of the illegally-built El Algarrobico hotel, which ecologists believe could now be approved.

She declared: “The Spanish government is ready to contribute to its demolition.”
Environment boss for Andalucia Jose Diaz Trillo added: “I can assure you this decree will have no bearing on the hotel.”

But it comes as 30 Greenpeace activists were charged with vandalising the illegal hotel in 2009.

Activists covered the 22-storey building, built on a virgin beach, with a green canvas to symbolically wipe the 411-room hotel from the landscape.

“It is barmy. Greenpeace has to go to court over what the courts have already recognized more than a dozen times: that the hotel is illegal,” said a spokesman.


  1. Lol they charged Greepeace for “vandalising” the hotel, but the whole thing is an illegal carbuncle. I hear the word “barmy” a lot when people talk about Spain. This country just can’t stop thinking about hotels and golf courses – there is no hope.

  2. If this is true I absolutely despair.

    I am part of a campaign in Andalucia to highly regulate real estate agents and others involved in property sales and we have been making headway – as have others campaigning to legalise some illegal builds and change land-grab laws.

    I was beginning to think that the powers that be are finally getting it to their heads everything that is disgraceful and morally wrong with the real estate industry in this country.

    Guess I was wrong!

    It seems the Spanish will not be happy until they have concreted every bit of green in their once beautiful land,

  3. No need to try Fred, I actually do tell them …….. and guess what most of my Spanish friends agree with me, the problem is that not one of them – me included, have an answer as how to change and better things in this country, not just for the vultures but for all.

    One thing is certain though ignoring and not mentioning (for some) uncomfortable topics rather adds to the problem instead of helping in solving it.

  4. You are wasting your time, the Spanish are very apathetic and do nothing to change their systems. When I went to my Ayuntamiento to complain about some local issues they shook my hand and said I was the only person to ever complain in this way. They still did nothing however lol.

  5. there you go Fred, in the end you had to agree with me ….

    Quote Fred:
    “the Spanish are very apathetic and do nothing to change their systems”

    = “Spaniards, the only Europeans who sh*t inside their own nest”

    Quote Fred:
    “When I went to my Ayuntamiento to complain about some local issues they shook my hand and said I was the only person to ever complain in this way. They still did nothing however lol”

    = “Why ? – because their vultures (corrupt politicians and industry parasites) don’t care about asphalting their precious country ! As long as they live in a clean nest overlooking the beach”

    and you do surprise me I didn’t think you were such a ballsy pioneer with missionary feelings going to the Ayuntamiento all alone to complain …..

    Well done ! Spain needs more like you ……… animo Dr. Fred

  6. Hmm good try, but no. You see, I wasn’t ever disagreeing with you Sharon, unless of course you can quote me where I said that I disagreed with you, which you can’t, because it doesn’t exist, lol.

    You were referring to the establishment in your ‘vulture analogy’, which is of course what I refer to too. I don’t love that aspect of Spain at all. You would not get a nice reception in many parts of Andalucia with your analogy however; they adore their elected officials where I am.

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