If you’re affected please write to Graham Norwood

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This topic contains 24 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Anonymous Anonymous 7 years ago.

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  • #55255
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    Anonymous
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    Some of you may remember that this time last year I launched a petition to the Governor of the Bank of Spain. Graham Norwood of the Observer was one of the journalists who gave it a high profile both in his column in the Sunday Observer and in a travel magazine for which he is a regular correspondent (its name escapes me as I write) . He has now written this article which was published yesterday.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2009/oct/19/condemned-spanish-apartments-uk-buyers

    While I feel my own case is now completely hopeless I would encourage those of you who still believe they have mileage to send your details to Graham. Who knows what final outcomes will occur. I think we should just get behind anything and everything that may offer help.

    roots

  • #94713
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Even though I am not affected. I have written to him & even told him to prove through his journalistic skills that a pen is mightier than the sword and not to let this matter rest by way of a one off article & contribute towards bringing down this blatant abuse in a EU member Country.

  • #94716
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    roots

    thanks for reminding us of that, and yes I will write. I’m so sorry to hear that your case is all but hopeless. I’m feeling much the same way. If those in a position to administer justice just don’t, then we really must all get behind anything that will help. This injustice potentially effects everyone involved in the Spanish property industry. The ‘I’m alright Jack’s” might not be tomorrow?

  • #94717
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Roots – yes, I will also be writing.
    Having to fight in court to get money back on a no-build – despite them still building away elsewhere with our money(!) it might be of interest.
    In the light of people now winning cases on GH in the Superior Court in Madrid we still feel it is worth you looking into bringing a whole new case via another route. Will e-mail.

  • #94762
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thanks Shakeel, Charlie, Goodstitch and everyone else who has written to the Observer newspaper.

    I contacted the journalist Graham Norwood who informs me that it is the newspaper itself – not him – that is asking for more stories to publish. So, at least one newspaper intends to keep the outrages in Marbella in the public eye.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2009/oct/19/condemned-spanish-apartments-uk-buyers

    Guys, if you haven’t written already please think about doing so…

    cash@observer.co.uk

    roots

  • #94973
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Another article by Graham Norwood:

    Corruption Smears Spanish Realty
    ‘If you talk to some property professionals in established markets in Europe, you would believe that East European or Middle Eastern countries are those with the least transparency and the most “closed” systems of international property purchase.

    But Spain, a supposedly-established housing market that has been actively encouraging international buyers for five decades now, never fails to surprise with its unregulated and seemingly-uncaring property regime……If that scandal was the only one, few could criticise the country’s property establishment as a whole. Yet it is simply one of many.
    ……There are plenty of apologists for Spain’s governmental failure to tackle corruption in its property market.
    ……….There is some hope that the growing number of Spanish housing experts, think tanks and environmental groups complaining about rampant over-development and under-regulation are raising their voices.

    The good news is that they will stop this happening again in the future. The bad news is that almost nothing can be done to remedy the current mess. For the individual buyers left in the middle, you can only feel sadness.’

    http://www.business24-7.ae/Articles/2009/11/Pages/04112009/11052009_f793e3b018a8420aba6452f0590d7c0d.aspx

  • #94974
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Also seen in the article:

    Anyone who writes an article critical of the market there, scribbles a blog or even adds a simple comment at the end of an online story, will receive a barrage of comments. They come from those with vested interests – estate agents, developers, mortgage lenders – but sadly they sometimes come from desperate owners who have failed to sell their home over several years.

    Many of us have experienced those people here on SPI and other forums!!

  • #94975
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    “Anyone who writes an article critical of the market there, scribbles a blog or even adds a simple comment at the end of an online story, will receive a barrage of comments.
    They come from those with vested interests – estate agents, developers, mortgage lenders…..

    We’ve had a few of those on SPI. 🙂

  • #94977
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    😆
    You beat me to it Claire!

  • #94978
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    😉

  • #94979
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    I think robinfuengirola died of exhaustion.
    His posts were not so much a ‘barrage’, more like one-hour-monologues.

  • #94980
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Supposedly, the majority of developments in and around Marbella are to be granted retrospective building licenses therefore making them legal. This presents a problem for many people who have rightfully not completed on their proposed purchase because of the lack of the all important LFO. Many, if not most have spent a small fortune on protracted legal cases. A fortunate minority have actually received their monies back. Many have won their cases but are still being refused payment from both the banks and developers. Sadly many have had to give up the fight due to lack of funds and the huge costs involved in taking the case further after the developer/banks continue to appeal on ridiculous and unfounded grounds. This has been going on for up to 7 years in some cases. As always in life, peoples situations have altered. I personally know of cases where they have been affected by serious health problems, making buying in Spain out of the question. There have been divorces and more recently, job losses. Whilst people were prepared to honour their side of of the contract of buying off plan, developers did not honour their agreement because they were involved in wide scale corruption. Meanwhile, these properties are now way below their original values. That coupled with the poor exchange rate for the British people makes it very difficult to get mortgages to enable completion. The exchange rate is of course, not Spain’s fault, but it is a problem that comes into the equation.

    I know that people who have not completed on Santa Maria Green Hills, have been sent very threatening letters from a debt collecting agency. The developers will in no way consider a negotiation in prices for the tiny number of people who would consider/are able to complete. I’m sure this is a scenario for many other developments. Still…. the greed of these developers has no boundaries. Empty properties will remain empty, decaying over time adding to the ruined landscape by overdevelopment of greedy Spanish developers.

  • #94982
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    Anonymous
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    from Suzanne’s post on Graham Norwood’s report

    ”The good news is that they will stop this happening again in the future. The bad news is that almost nothing can be done to remedy the current mess. For the individual buyers left in the middle, you can only feel sadness.”

    I can’t help feeling that something could be done to help those ‘individual buyers left in the middle’? How hard would it be for a fund to be set up by the Spanish government to compensate those most clearly wronged. If the government refuses to pay it’s due’s in this way, then a tiny proportion of the EU funds bound for Spain could be diverted to those wronged. There clearly are ways, but it’s much easier for those who could help to find excuses not to.

  • #94983
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Claire

    your last post summed up the situation very well. It seems everyone can see its all true, apart from those who could really do something about it?

  • #94984
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Goodstich, the reason that that Spanish Government will not refund people is because they will never admit to there being any wrong doing. I cannot see the EU funding it from monies sent to Spain because realistically, it will open the floodgates for other people in other countries to start claims also. The EU coffers could be bankrupted. 😯 The over indulged MEPs would never allow their gravy train to stop running. 😉

  • #94985
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    @goodstich44 wrote:

    from Suzanne’s post on Graham Norwood’s report

    ”The good news is that they will stop this happening again in the future. The bad news is that almost nothing can be done to remedy the current mess. For the individual buyers left in the middle, you can only feel sadness.”

    I can’t help feeling that something could be done to help those ‘individual buyers left in the middle’? How hard would it be for a fund to be set up by the Spanish government to compensate those most clearly wronged. If the government refuses to pay it’s due’s in this way, then a tiny proportion of the EU funds bound for Spain could be diverted to those wronged. There clearly are ways, but it’s much easier for those who could help to find excuses not to.

    Goodstich – I agree, & wasn’t too keen on that comment either, but he’s entitled to it. None of us know how this will eventually pan out but surely the action taken now, however small or insignificant it may seem to others, will determine this. Any resignation to defeat before the battle is over is of no use at all.

    Look what’s now happening here:
    Turkish Government facing $400 Billion Class Action over Cyprus Property

    http://www.thelondondailynews.com/turkish-government-facing-billion-class-action-over-cyprus-property-p-3488.html

  • #94986
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Look what’s now happening here:
    Turkish Government facing $400 Billion Class Action over Cyprus Property

    http://www.thelondondailynews.com/turkish-government-facing-billion-class-action-over-cyprus-property-p-3488.html

    This is different to the Spanish issue in that these people are of “refugee status”. Their homes were taken from them and others now occupy them.

    Any resignation to defeat before the battle is over is of no use at all.

    Suzanne, people are resigned to defeat because they do not have either the mental or financial resources to carry on fighting. Roots is a prime case to look at. These poor souls just want to get on with some form of life, even though they have been robbed of so much.
    Thankfully, there are some of us who will continue to fight against injustice, each in our own way.

  • #94988
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    Anonymous
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    Claire

    yes, I realise that is probably the angle coming from Spain and the EU, but it’s all tosh and excuses I feel. Spain should be bought to account by whoever or whatever means it takes.

    Suzanne

    I agree. We have to believe that sooner or later justice will be done otherwise there would be no point in any of us fighting so long and so hard for what’s right.

  • #94989
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    I agree with your sentiments Goodstich, I just can’t see it happening…sometime soon anyway. Oh! that they would pay compensation.

  • #94990
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    katy
    Spectator

    What amazes me that in the whole shoddy saga of property problems and articles not one spanish politician has ever made any official comment.

  • #94991
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    In their eyes Katy, what is there to comment on? Problem? What problem? That’s why Spanish Government payouts ain’t gonna happen. 🙁

  • #95104
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    This article written by Lenox Napier in ‘The Entertainer’ contains names of Spanish politicians. I could be wrong but I’m not aware of any serious bothering of/protesting to those guys as yet. But why not? We could all do a blanket mailing. This strategy works for Amnesty International. So why not for us?

    We need a clear and strongly worded letter translated into sound Spanish which we can all use. Any volunteers?

    Property Rights Brief for PoliticiansFriday 13 November 2009 – 13:29:18
    AUAN Press Release – 10th November 2009 Contact: Info@almanzora-au.org

    Property rights groups brief Foreign Office & Andalucian MPs on urban abuse in Spain.

    Three homeowners groups have united, with the support of the fledgling national federation of anti urban abuse organisations (FAUN), to brief the UK Foreign Office on urban abuse in Andalucia.
    Heartened by the comments in a letter from the Foreign Office to the AUAN indicating that ‘the issue of Spanish property problems is something our new Minister for Europe’ Chris Bryant ‘is very interested in’, the three groups (AUAN in Almanzora, AULAN in Levante and SOHA in Axarquia) collaborated on the creation of a 22 page briefing paper which has now been submitted for the Minister’s attention.
    The briefing paper details the issues faced by the victims of urban abuse with denial of access to services, local legality vs. regional illegality, and land grab being the major themes. It also highlights the case of Mr & Mrs Pringle of Alcaucin, Axarquia who received a demolition order on their home on the 17th of October 2009.
    With respect to legal forms of redress the document indicates that ‘continents drift faster’ than the Spanish court system, with many homeowners enduring proceedings that can take, on average, 8 years to reach a conclusion. “We fear that our constructors, our Town Halls, our architects and our lawyers will get away with what they have done” it states.
    It also expresses the fear that the homeowners will be forced to fund the costs of regularisation whilst the town councils seem unwilling or unable to make legally binding agreements with the constructors who have a limited liability of a paltry €3,000 in their SL companies.
    This fear is becoming a reality for some. Juan Espada, Minister for Housing and Planning declared on 1st November, in the Andalucian Parliament, that each homeowner should meet the cost to regularise their illegal homes because “it is not acceptable” that the costs should be bourne by the administration for those who “took advantage”. “Ask for credit” he said. He was responding to comments from PP deputy Teresa Ruiz-Sillero that residents in Chiclana were up in arms because they cannot afford the costs of regularisation, calculated at €24,000 per household.
    In a second initiative, the Spanish version of the briefing paper has been sent to Andalucian MP Sr. Jose Antonio Castro, (Izquierda Unida Los Verdes) who has agreed to study the report with a view to raising questions in the Andalucian parliament.
    Copies have also been distributed to MEPs in the European Parliament including the Spanish MEP Willy Meyer, vice-chair of the petitions committee.
    The federation, spearheaded by the AUN in Valencia has also been instrumental in the submission of four written questions to the House of Lords relating to urban abuses in Spain.
    Any like-minded group wishing to join the federation should please contact FAUN at aun@abusos-no.org

    See http://www.theentertaineronline.com/news.php

  • #95109
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Rome was not built in day. We have to keep on fighting not only for us but for the future generations. Irrespective of the Country.

    In so far the Spanish politicians are concerned. Why would they rock the boat. They are in it. I have a friend of mine who has a construction business constructing retail parks, etc. Two of his consultants are from the political parties.

    They are ex ministers of housing, commerce etc. The palms are greased nicely when doors are opened or matter fast tracked.

  • #95118
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    katy
    Spectator
  • #95131
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    Anonymous
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    katy

    what a shame on Spain this really is! Just corruption, lies, and betrayal of trust. If the EU won’t see this abuse for what it is and take action, you have to ask is there anyone prepared to do the right thing for those so obviously wronged?.

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