30 Oct, 2014 @ 17:19
1 min read

Of 51 arrested in country-wide raids, 17 summoned to Madrid court

OF the 51 politicians, businessmen and construction workers arrested this week, 17 have been summoned by a Madrid court.

The 17 include five former mayors – the majority of which are PP – and a French energy executive.

All of those arrested were linked to allegations that suspects had been handing out building contracts – worth €250 million across two years – in exchange for bribes.

Among those to appear at the National Court is Didier Maurice, chairman in Spain for Cofely, a subsidiary of French energy giant GDF Suez.

Cofely is alleged to be the central beneficiary of the deals.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy apologised the day following the arrests for his party’s involvement in the corruption.

Imogen Calderwood

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  1. Dear Everybody,

    For over a year we have been thinking about moving to Spain once retired and buying a house there to live in and we have made 3 trips so far to Spain to look for a house, a fourth trip starting the week of Nov. 10th. We have a dutch/spanish lawyer looking into the properties we liked and so far 3 were not OK (she is located in Spain):
    One had no decent paperwork, one was taken off the market at the last minute and the third one is still under investigation. We live(d) in Brussels and sold our house here. We were going to buy a house in Spain and would keep the left over money to complement our pension money, where necessary. Apparently it is
    impossible to buy a house in Spain and have a 100% certainty that all is OK and legal. We unfortunately can’t afford to buy 2 houses so we have decided to buy a smaller home in Belgium (where we currently live) and rent a house in Spain during the winter months. That way we keep all our rights to our medical/hospital insurance while officially living ion Belgium, etc. which would be cancelled when not living in Belgium, etc.
    What the f*ck does it take to be able to buy a house in Spain without having to worry that in one year, 5 years, 10 years those bastards of Spanish authorities tell you your house is not OK and you have to tear it down? They apparently do nothing for the “tourists” who are willing to spend their hard earned money to buy a home, spend money to live here, etc. but rather f*ck you royally by making you take down your house, no compensation for the money spent on buying the house but rather make you pay for tearing it down, leaving you with absolutely nothing, if anything but debts.

    We are getting desperate and will go to Andalusia for the 4th time to see if we can find a house to rent in the week of Nov. 10th as of like beginning December,
    being very disappointed in everything that seemed so great about moving to Spain.

    Can anybody shed some light on this impossible legal situation to buy a home in Spain in 2014 or 2015 without risk of losing it all when some jerk decides it is not legal for whatever crap reason he/she can think of?

    We are dutch citizens who are/were living in Brussels, my wife speaks Spanish and my first priority is to learn to speak Spanish fluently. We live in Belgium and we both speak the 2 national languages, dutch and french fluently.

    I look very much forward to any useful comments which might be of any use to our search/dream of living in Spain without risking all our savings.

    Kind regards,


  2. Andalucia is a safer bet than say Valencia. Don’t purchase a property that is part of Spain’s parcelisation land sub-division. Don’t buy anything off plan, or houses built in the middle of nowhere. Look for a place that’s a few years old at least.

    Also don’t come to Spain with a bad attitude (like a lot of people on this website) fighting against the system either. It won’t help you at all.

  3. Just don’t come to Spain. If your house isn’t found to be illegal, you will be hounded with tax, after tax, after tax. Try Portugal instead. The people are far more friendly and educated, the weather is the same as Spain, and the food far superior. Portugal has a much more welcoming feel, and joy of joys, they don’t close the whole country down on a Sunday.

  4. Have you considered Portugal? Cheaper and no tax on pensions and a better legalsystem or shall I say a legalsystem something Spain haven’t introduced as of yet..
    The only positive thing Spain can offer is good weather.

  5. Paul – you are doing the right thing. Rent do not buy. If you buy you will become resident and tey will want your money. They will tax all your income charge you all sorts of tax for owning. Let someone else have that hassle and you just rent. Rents are not going up. While renting you can move around so that if you pick the wrong area you just move on. If you own a property just try selling it! Also with tax on buying then tax on selling you’ll lose money.
    The system stinks so don’t get involved with it. Spain will suffer another recession soon so keep your options open. Buying means you are committed renting doesn’t. Also consider other countries like Croatia who actually want you there :-)

  6. How do you buy in spain without having problems?
    I have lived in spain for 10 years and dont know anyone who has had a problem free transaction.
    I know people with 30k small bedsits to 10million mansion in Marbella and not one of them is happy.
    They wish they would have sold in the boom and got out of the market.
    Also ask all those who have bought in spain how you do it. The ones that have lost hundreds of thousands of pounds may have some idea.
    Spain is a place for holiday and beaches.
    Buyer beware

  7. I would have gone to Portugal, or even southern France, if I had my time again.

    Whatever you do, don’t buy until you have lived in Spain for at least a year or longer. I think your idea of retaining your official/fiscal residence in Belgium is a good one. You don’t want to get tangled up with the Spanish tax office if you can possibly avoid it.

  8. Paul, I share your utter disgust at the way people have been treated regarding the so called illegal housing situation. This problem has been created by the regional government, the Junta de Andalucia, who are solely responsible for the entire mess. The are incompetent, they can’t run anything and they are incapable of creating and enforcing workable property laws. They have announced recently that they are going to sort the problem out but it is very difficult to trust them and it is unlikely that any changes in the law will be far-reaching enough.

    Spanish politics are a complete basket case and riddled with corruption and God knows what is going to happen next. The economy is stagnant and unlike the UK, Spain is a very business unfriendly country which is why so many people are leaving/have already left. Their taxes are punative and not foreigner friendly (i.e. the asset declaration tax) and the costs associated with buying property are sky high – you even have to pay plus valia tax as well as capital gains tax when you sell.

    My advice is either rent in Spain or better still, buy in Portugal where the building standards are far higher, they are not demolishing houses and have good tax incentives for foreign investors i.e. no capital gains tax or tax on pensions for the first 10 years – Portugal actually want foreigns to go there! There are some good deals to be had there at the moment with off plan houses and no, you will not get demolished.

    If Spain wants to encourage foreigners to invest their hard earned money in their country they need to radically change their attitude. They need to have tax incentives, provide legal certainty when purchasing property and make themselves more business/user friendly. With the way things are at the moment, they do not deserve your money.

    If I had my time again, I would not touch Spain with a bargepole.

  9. “Also don’t come to Spain with a bad attitude and fighting against the system”

    @Paul, Derek is basically telling you that if you did move to Spain and purchase a property, and something did go wrong, don’t fight against the system. That’s right, don’t fight for what is legally yours. Just give up, that Derek’s advice. That tells you all you need to know about Spain. You would be purchasing in a country that has essentially zero ethics when it comes to property laws. Please consider Portugal. Do not give your money to Spain.

  10. Lesley
    If they as happend to some 100000 people knock on the door and tell you next year or even five years from now that your legally houses are not. Would then like to se your positive comments in
    Olive Press.
    I think only Derek can se the greatness but then please join him sharing the joy of your losses.

  11. Paul, your comments sum up why Spain has many problems. Don’t listen to Derek, he does not have a clue what he is talking about. I have a Countryside property, not sure how old it is but it has an escritura (title deeds). The only problem is the Priors had an escritura and their house was knocked down. Also when I purchased my property I wanted to see the escritura before I handed over any money, so the estate agent hand drew on an additional building and faxed it over to me all those years ago. The hand drawing looked like my kid had done it so it was easy to spot but I had that building knocked down anyway and had a pool put there. In reality, if the property has an escritura and the place is many years old you should be fairly safe. At a later date I also went down to the regional office with a Spanish friend who had an uncle working there and he pulled off maps and said the property was safe. Don’t forget though that if you get a good deal and do not pay much in the way of the 7% or so of property tax when purchasing, they sometimes come back and say the true value is €x euros and you owe us another X€ thousands more. This has happened even when someone has purchased the property from a bank with no under the table cash being handed over. Good luck.

  12. I haven’t had a problem buying Spanish property. Almost everyone I know has, despite using Lawyers. There but the grace of God go I . I would never, ever buy in Spain again with all the sad stories.

  13. I know a retired British lawyer who used to conveyance Spanish property from the UK using fluent Spanish layers who worked for him, as well as lawyers in Spain. He bought a house in Spain ensuring everything was ok legally etc. 10 years later he had a visit from men in suits saying all was not right, he had to pay several 1000’s more euros to correct paperwork.

    On top of that, his house suffered serious cracking in walls and patio, this is now constantly happening as the rains cause movement to many properties on the hillside he lives. His water supply pipe often fracture under ground which he’s not aware of until he gets large bills, up comes the patio again for repairs until next time. That’s takes no account of barking dogs and shouting on his hillside. The property value has fallen by approx 2 thirds since ownership.

    Happens to lawyers as well as 1000’s of others.

  14. Ditto all of the above, with one exception. Add to that the fact that you will spend the rest of your life queueing at either traffico for buying a scrap worthy car that you have to pay taxes on top of the purchase price. Also , days lost at town hall, water supplier, telfonica, iberdrola, and more, because they are all bloody incompetent, but very good at taking money from your bank without notification. None of this helped by the bank who charge excessive fees for getting things wrong. People get the governments that they deserve, never a truer word said..

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