By Imogen Calderwood
AN impassioned plea from a local Spanish restaurateur may help to prevent the demolition of hundreds of homes in the Axarquia region.
Antonio Martin, owner of restaurant Meson Sara, in Puente de Don Manuel, received rapturous applause as he told a politically-charged meeting how important expats were to the region.
The Spanish businessman told a meeting between pressure group Save Our Homes Axarquia (SOHA) and senior members of the PSOE socialist party that if it was not for them, many local businesses would ‘undoubtedly’ have failed.
It was the first time politicians had met with the group, who has around 300 members present at the meeting.
Philip Smalley, chairman of SOHA, explained: “The words of our guests (from the PSOE) suggested they felt that they were at the beginning of a long a difficult process which is strange as we have been fighting this fight for almost 10 years!”
“One of the problems we face is the merry-go-round of new faces at the Junta. Each year or so someone new takes over the ministry and the dialogue begins again.
“At least they have signaled to us that they are prepared to talk. I hope they do.”
Pressure group SOHA formed in January 2008 to fight against the demolition of their Axarquia homes after they were declared illegal.
The group demand that the law in Andalucia be changed to protect innocent homeowners who had bought their homes in good faith.
The Junta de Andalucia are “prepared to talk”, that is pathetic beyond belief. The place is falling apart with mass unemployment and a broken housing market and that is all these ****wits have to offer?
Causing endless suffering obviously doesn’t matter to them at all and it begs the question, why the hell do people put up with this crap? I can’t believe it’s still going on over there after all this time when this could have been put to bed years ago, it would be so easy to resolve, just have an amnesty. What a useless, non go-ahead place.
We have the highest unemployment… in Europe! The Junta de Andalucía has mismanaged this region since the autonomous region was declared (with Almería voting against) in 1981. Now, with the opportunity to become the Florida of Europe, they cock it up again. Do the politicians care what damage they do to their citizens? Evidently not.
What beggars belief is that SOHA only has a few hundred members out of the thousands of Brit and other expats and holiday home owners in the Axarquia. There is an astonishing head in the sand attitude that none of it really matters, they won’t demolish our house anyway and it’s not as important as the loss of the TV. The reality is that our houses are virtually unsaleable, our investment worthless, our houses under threat at the whim of absentee politicians and this is a scandal on a massive scale. The only way this will be “happily” resolved is with a change in the law. An amnesty would help, but is not a solution for your property. It needs thousands of people demonstrating, huge publicity, relentless pressure on the morons calling themselves politicians in Spain and in our original countries. This is only going to happen if people actively support organisations such as SOHA in their thousands. I think that SOHA does a magnificent job, supported by a few stalwarts: it is beyond comprehension why it is not supported by every one of the home-owners whose property is at risk.
Well said Elliot.
Not a bad post Elliot. Until you got to the point of calling the politicians “morons”. That’ll get them on your side!
Steve – I should have limited my remark to any politicians involved in this particular issue who might have fallen significantly short of the mark in protecting the interests of their constituents.
Moron and politician is interchangable in Spain.
This ‘head in the sand’ mentality demonstrated by expats is also evident in Cadiz Province. Chiclana Town Council has, reportedly, recently issued hundreds of property demolition letters but very few expats are willing to publicly protest the issue. We really don’t help ourselves – there are local Spanish pressure groups fighting their corner and very willing to include expats.
Not sure it’s a “head in the sand” attitude it’s more a case of being scabs and blacklegs, (to use old-fashioned trade-union language) These people would be happy to benefit from the efforts of SOHA and others, while not raising their own heads above the parapet. It’s not apathy, it’s cowardice.