European Parliament orders another report on Spanish urban development practises

The European Parliament has ordered another report – the third of its kind – into Spanish urban development practises, in its latest response to thousands of complaints about urban planning and property rights abuses from home owners in Spain.

In a letter in support of the report, the Polish president of the Petitions Committee, Marcin Libicki, noted that his committee has verified “the problems suffered by several thousand European citizens who have chosen to buy property in Spain.” He pointed out that the problems affect both Spaniards and non-Spaniards alike.

Justifying a new report, Libicki cites the abuse of property rights, the violation of EU public tender rules, environmental damage, and “many illegal buildings, some under threat of demolition. A problem which affects thousands of people who bought their properties in good faith from unscrupulous intermediaries that have sometimes been protected by the local authorities.”

“The issue is of the utmost importance, and affects the lives of many, especially the growing number of retirees who have moved to Spain to enjoy their retirement,” says Libicki.

Right-of-centre Spanish MEPs voted against the new report, and attacked Spain’s Socialist MEPs for supporting it. Spanish MEP Gerardo Galeote criticised the “irresponsibility of the Spanish Socialist MEPs, who during this legislature have consistently brought up internal Spanish matters for debate in the European Parliament, and encouraged the criminalisation of a sector that has played a key role in Spain’s economic development and job creation in recent years.”

The report should be ready for a vote in the European Parliament by January 2009.



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