Trampolin Hills Manager (Antonio Martinez) jailed

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This topic contains 35 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of logan logan 6 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #55548
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    Anonymous
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  • #97986
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    Anonymous
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    “The company took 60 million euros from purchasers…..not a cent is left in company accounts”

    Article in English: http://www.simplynetworking.es/news_further.php?id=2691&top_id=31

  • #97988
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    Anonymous
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    Yes, for how long. I dont mind being in a cage or even a cave in the Bora Bora mountain if I can rob people of their €60million.

  • #97991
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    logan
    Participant

    @shakeel wrote:

    I dont mind being in a cage or even a cave in the Bora Bora mountain if I can rob people of their €60million.

    I sincerely hope that’s a joke Shakeel!

  • #97994
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    Anonymous
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    The most of us are in a cage called “the office” for the rest of our lives so being in prison for 2 or 3 years getting 60 million euro seems not to be a bad idea. 😈

  • #97996
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    Anonymous
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    Logan: I am not certain if it is a joke or not !!!!!!!

  • #97999
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    Blimey are your lives that bad? 🙁 🙁 Come on folks ripping others off aka Martnez can never be worth the consequences. Some of these people lost everything they had. Me thinks you need a reality check.

  • #98000
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    Anonymous
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    No life is not bad. It could be very much better with €60million. It is as a consequence of a reality check that my posting was made.

  • #98001
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    Anonymous
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    My life isnt also too bad. What need to be done is a tightening of the sentences so you dont get free after 3 or 4 years not matter the amount of money stolen and the amount of suffering you have done.

    But…be aware that the real actors in this scam are not in prison. Antonio Martinez couldnt have get his resort on work without the help of the local councils (bridbed of course). The people of this councils will be right now enjoying their fresh and easy money without any disturb.

  • #98002
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    Anonymous
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    Today we can see that is being investigated the possibility of selling the same property to several clients:

    http://www.laverdad.es/murcia/v/20100417/region/juez-investiga-trampolin-hills-20100417.html

    If you property right now is half price, why not selling it twice? Very clever this Antonio Martinez…

  • #98003
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    Anonymous
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    Peterpara you are very correct about the period in prison and should not only relate to the sentencing. It is also got to do with timely, rigorous tracing of appropriated funds & the assets acquired from criminal & fraudulent dealings.

    In so far selling is twice at half price. Its not clever it is a fraud. The Spanish business community does not understand that business can be done with honestly, transparency and as a result the people will come back for more business.

    So , they may not become millionaire over night and it may take them longer and in the mean time you can sleep well, walk the street with your head held high & have respect in the community.

  • #98004
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    Anonymous
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    Yesterday the police made a thorough search of Martinez’s house and gardens with metal detectors?! I just hope they are sensitive enough to pick up on the metal strip in the bank notes – coming from a gypsy background it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if the ‘under the mattress’ mentality meant he would bury loads of cash in the garden.

    What I want to know is did the police find a Miro hanging in his bathroom or is that just a J.A. Roca thing?

    Having been ‘bitten’ myself by a developer who took our money but never built anything I can totally understand the anger of these purchasers, including wanting to take a gun! And Peterparra is right, why do so many in the councils who obviously accepted bribes seem to be immune from the investigation? As in the Prior’s case, it’s not rocket science to see whose signatures validated so-called legal documents.

  • #98005
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    logan
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    That’s a relief then. Your not a bunch of crooks. 😀
    They would do better searching bank account records in Switzerland or Gibraltar but of course they can’t do that, can they? Searching the garden is a bit pathetic. 🙂
    I have experience with company fraud whilst working in The City of London many moons ago.(investigating it) Tracing assets is very difficult if the fraudsters are sophisticated even if you know where to look. These victims will not likely see any of their cash again.

  • #98010
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    Anonymous
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    Charlie gypsies dont have taste for Miro !!!. In so far as the as the councils are concerned like the Mayor’s they can stand in the Court and say that they did not know what they were signing and the bribed judge will accept that.

    Logan: you forgot Andorra !!!!!!!!!!!!

  • #98011
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    Anonymous
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    The judge has sentenced prison with a 600.000 euros deposit in order to avoid prison:

    http://www.laverdad.es/murcia/20100417/local/region/prision-eludible-bajo-fianza-201004171742.html

    Ok. If the police where enought clever they should investigate where the money will come from because I am sure Antonio Martinez or his friends will pay.

  • #98012
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    Anonymous
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    This is an example of the shame of spanish politics.

    Jaume Matas, former president of the Islas Baleares was sentenced for corruption. The deposit for avoid prison was 3 million euro and he got it by a loan provided by the Bank of Valencia.

    http://www.expansion.com/2010/04/08/economia-politica/1270729034.html

    So if you right now have a business and need a loan to pay your debts or expand your business right now is a very hard thing to get done. But if you are a corrupt with good friends you get your 3 million euro loan.

  • #98015
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    Anonymous
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    Peterpara. I will use one Spanish word for you that will answer “enchufes”. It works in all societies. In Spain it is on all levels & your face without shame.

  • #98016
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    angie
    Spectator

    Just another example of why Spain, it’s Gov’t and Politics and construction/holiday industry is in such a never ending mess, in answer to Mark asking ‘Where did Spain go wrong?’ How long is a piece of string?

  • #98017
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    logan
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    Yes Angie I agree with what you say but it’s always been like that during the thirty years I have been involved in the country. I don’t believe that is the reason for the decline in the second home market. The people of Europe who have the assets to spend on a holiday home have far more choice than they ever had before. A politically stable EU has been a factor, monitory union, integrated health care and cheap airline travel have all contributed to that. The destruction of the coastal regions of Spain into concrete jungles, poor standards of service by hotels the list goes on and on.
    I travel a lot and notice when I come to Spain the difference in standards. It’s third world compared to the US and the far east. The rest of Europe simply offers a richer experience in my opinion and second homes are cheaper in most places, safer to buy and offer more for your buck.
    Posted this on the wrong thread but I guess it doesn’t matter 🙂

  • #98018
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    Anonymous
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    Your post would be appropriate on a number of threads Logan. 😉

  • #98019
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    Anonymous
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    Way back in the thread there was a mention of the obscene amount spent on advertising a development that hadn’t even been started, nor did it have planning permission. I remember a giant advertising board, I think it was on the N332 somewhere and after seeing it a few times, we drove down to Murcia to have a look.

    The nearer we got to the location, the worse the surroundings got, they seemed desert-like and unappealing, so much so that we turned back towards the coast. I find it hard to imagine that so many people were attracted to such a location and parted with their money to the crooks.

    Such is the power of advertising, I suppose, all those glossy images of paradise produced by some grubby conmen racing around in Ferraris. How could people fall for that?

  • #98022
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
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    @Rocker wrote:

    Such is the power of advertising, I suppose, all those glossy images of paradise produced by some grubby conmen racing around in Ferraris. How could people fall for that?

    They are usually persuaded because of naivety, gullibility and an absence of a varied life experience. Of course no one would ever admit or even recognise themselves being in that state. Most people with ordinary backgrounds usually are.
    When they leave their familiar environment and travel abroad on holiday they drop their guard and relax the normal antennae. They become half sold and willing. The bandwagon effect is also a factor. They see others doing it and want it themselves. Holidays are outside normal life experience and creates a natural human vulnerability.
    The professional con men understand these factors and use the situation to their best advantage. If you have not been used to dealing with professional confidence tricksters called salesmen you are at their mercy. They are good, very good at what they do. They know all the right buttons to press.
    The development may even not start out as a con. The promoters may just be over optimistic with a poor business model. However once they see how easy it is to part people from their cash they make more and more unrealistic promises. It spirals out of control.
    The inevitable financial tragedy is set to unfold.
    History keeps repeating itself with every generation. This recession will make no difference. The conmen and the potential victims will always return until Spain puts in place laws, procedures and a system of supervision to police it.

  • #98024
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    @logan wrote:

    @Rocker wrote:
    Such is the power of advertising, I suppose, all those glossy images of paradise produced by some grubby conmen racing around in Ferraris. How could people fall for that?

    They are usually persuaded because of naivety, gullibility and an absence of a varied life experience. Of course no one would ever admit or even recognise themselves being in that state. Most people with ordinary backgrounds usually are.
    When they leave their familiar environment and travel abroad on holiday they drop their guard and relax the normal antennae. They become half sold and willing. The bandwagon effect is also a factor. They see others doing it and want it themselves. Holidays are outside normal life experience and creates a natural human vulnerability.
    The professional con men understand these factors and use the situation to their best advantage. If you have not been used to dealing with professional confidence tricksters called salesmen you are at their mercy. They are good, very good at what they do. They know all the right buttons to press.
    The development may even not start out as a con. The promoters may just be over optimistic with a poor business model. However once they see how easy it is to part people from their cash they make more and more unrealistic promises. It spirals out of control.
    The inevitable financial tragedy is set to unfold.
    History keeps repeating itself with every generation. This recession will make no difference. The conmen and the potential victims will always return until Spain puts in place laws, procedures and a system of supervision to police it.

    Absolutely spot on.

  • #98025
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    logan: The problem with this development wasn’t that prospective buyers were naive or gullable but that they were lied to by their agents & the developer & let down by their lawyers.

    The developer supplied bank guarantees, the problem however, is that the BG supplied was issued by a company not licensed to issue a BG in Spain, why wasn’t that picked up by the lawyers?

    There was no planning permission for this development, but the appropriate paperwork was supplied. Why wasn’t this picked up by the lawyers?

    Mortgages were granted, by Cam Bank amongst others. Why didn’t the banks check that the development was legal?

    In at least one case, TH have sold the same house twice, & both buyers have mortgages with Cam Bank!

    The buyers on this development did everything they should have done, they instructed lawyers, they made sure that they got a BG, they saw all the paperwork relating to building licenses etc, but they were LIED to & badly let down by the professionals employed to work on their behalf.

    This is more than a clever salesman dazzling a naive buyer on an inspection trip, this was a very professional fraud involving the developer, lawyers, banks & the local mayor (who worked as a salesman for the developer).

  • #98027
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    The buyers on this development did everything they should have done, they instructed lawyers, they made sure that they got a BG, they saw all the paperwork relating to building licenses etc, but they were LIED to & badly let down by the professionals employed to work on their behalf.

    The buyers of Trampolin hills are by no means unique in that experience. I would say that 99.9% of the illegal off plan buyers fall into the same scenario.
    I was asked by the producer of a Granada programme “Who do you think was at fault in the chain of events that happened to you” No doubt in our answer…THE LAWYER!

  • #98028
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    logan
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    That’s just my point Rob. Naive to trust Spanish banks and agents, gullible to believe Spanish lawyers can be trusted. I know that because of my experience. People who have not the same experience believe Spain works the same as anywhere else. Spain is in the EU I often hear said.
    The fact is in Spain you cannot trust anyone in the property, legal and financial business, despite what anyone tells you. People who have not had a bad experience have just been lucky.
    It is not what people say they will do it’s what they actually do that matters. There is a big difference, words are cheap ask any politician, estate agent or lawyer.

  • #98029
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    claire: Agree 100%!

    logan: No, I still don’t think you can accuse buyers of being naive & gullable for trusting lawyers & banks. Some of the lawyers used were from the UK, many of the banks involved operate in the UK, & sometimes it is just incompetance & that happens here in the Uk, & some-times it is fraud which also happens (less often) in the UK. The problem with an incompetant lawyer in Spain is that there is no redress available unlike the UK.

    There will always be fraudulant operators, there will always be conmen, but it is not unreasonable to rely on the professional appointed to work on your behalf, after all, it shouldn’t make any difference if the deal goes through or not, they will still get paid the same fee.

    I have bought, very happily in Spain, yes, with Polaris World at La Torre, so goodness know what will happen in the future, but I’m Ok. I was lucky, however with my Spanish lawyer who advised me not to go ahead with a purchase at Almanzora Country Club, & thank goodness I took his advice. However around 2000 buyers didn’t get that same advice from their laywers, & my question is: WHY NOT? But gullable & naive, NO!

  • #98032
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    logan
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    You are among the lucky Rob. Although with the demise of PW perhaps not. At least they did get many of their resorts finished. However try selling it. Me thinks your investment is stuck and doomed to decline in value. 🙁
    Foreigners buying in Spain don’t like to be labelled naive or gullible. I understand that. Considering it in the first place armed with the knowledge and pitfalls could be regarded as a little reckless at best.
    After all you can buy in France, Italy and UK without the same risk. I don’t say NO risk I say not the same by any means.
    That is because of a rigid system of regulation which controls the professionals and monitors everything they do. For example to become an estate agent in France you have do 4 years at Uni, pass very difficult exams and deposit a financial bond before you can operate. Anyone caught operating illegally goes to jail. Notaries are state tax collectors who like me regard all property professionals as crooks until they prove otherwise.
    My point is that Spain is very different. Spain is the wild west of Europe. It’s nothing new. It’s been going on for 40 years. Do people who want to buy in Spain know that? Do they do any research to find out? Do they realise it’s a relatively unregulated market operated by cowboys?
    Thirty five years ago British pensioners were ripped off on a massive scale over fraudulent Spanish land sales. Thousands were caught and a whole department at New Scotland Yard was established to investigate it. Did it change anything?
    Millions have been invested in Spain since then by British and other Europeans only to find out their investment was worthless. Will it change anything now the market has collapsed? It has hurt countless numbers of people and ruined their lives.
    It still won’t change anything because once the market turns a new generation of victims will arrive to meet a new generation of con men, sharks and cowboys called lawyers agents and bankers.
    Now the government is in on the act by taxing property buyers till the pips squeak. The Spanish government don’t care because it’s foreigners who get damaged and anyway money still flows into Spain. It’s a win, win for them. So why regulate and halt the gravy train.
    There really is nothing new under the sun.
    If this forum causes just one person to re-think a purchase it will be worth it.

  • #98038
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    @logan wrote:

    Now the government is in on the act by taxing property buyers till the pips squeak.

    Don’t forget the government is also still happily collecting taxes on properties they themselves deem are illegal. Talk about having their cake and eating it!!

    A big case breaking at the moment in Lanzarote where eight have just been arrested include:
    one ex-mayor
    one ex-councillor
    a municipal technician
    another worker from the Town Hall
    the ex head of the tourist board
    and a branch manager of the Caja de Canarias.

    To use Shakeel’s word: enchufes !

  • #98050
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    logan: I’m very well aware of the problems that PW have & I do agree that trying to sell at the moment will difficult, I am at least on a finished development. I would probably have a different view if I was at Condado.

    You used the word ‘investment’ in your post & that, I think, is one of the major issues.

    I’ve visited many exhibitions in the Uk over the last 7 or 8 years run by all the familiar large agencies, Atlas, Parador, Masa etc & I’ve lost count of the number of times I was told I could rent the property for 40+ weeks a year & so why don’t I buy 2 or 3 (or more), off plan, sell for a VAST profit because these are such great investments & then I have a ‘free’ property for myself producing an income! Obviously many people were taken in by these ‘salesmen’ & are paying the price now. It has happened in the UK in the last couple of years with the buy to let boom, & a great many people have found that they own several properties in developments they have never even visited that they can’t rent out for any amount. Yes, the agents/developers lied about the potential returns but at least they have a built legal property.

    That however, is a seperate problem to a development that hasn’t been & never will be built such as TH & ACC. These developments were a con! & the LAWYERS/BANKS & of course the DEVELOPERS knew that & lied & forged documents & STOLE buyers deposits.

    My purchase wasn’t/isn’t an ‘investment’, I bought because I liked the development & I wanted my own property, with my things in it, my decor & my furniture. Of course, I could have saved a vast amount of money br renting some-one elses property, i don’t want to do that. I’m fortunate in that I don’t have a mortgage & I can afford the running costs, I do know many however, who are struggling.

    I accept your point about the differences between Spain & France & indeed the UK, but I still come back to the accusation that buyers at Trampoloin Hills have been naive & gullable & I still can’t agree with that.

  • #98053
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    Just because people bought for investment does not give it “Green Light” for being lied to by all and sundry and having money fraudulently taken from them.
    We made it clear to the agent that we were buying purely for family lifestyle.

  • #98054
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    logan
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    @rob6578 wrote:

    I’ve visited many exhibitions in the Uk over the last 7 or 8 years run by all the familiar large agencies, Atlas, Parador, Masa etc & I’ve lost count of the number of times I was told I could rent the property for 40+ weeks a year & so why don’t I buy 2 or 3 (or more), off plan, sell for a VAST profit because these are such great investments & then I have a ‘free’ property for myself producing an income! Obviously many people were taken in by these ‘salesmen’ & are paying the price now.
    I still come back to the accusation that buyers at Trampoloin Hills have been naive & gullable & I still can’t agree with that.

    I think the first paragraph of your post kind of contradicts the last sentence but no matter. 🙂
    You seem to suggest that the people who invested in TH fit a different profile to most other buyers of second homes. I would suggest they were just more of the same who just happened to be taken in by everyone involved. I accept PW was not a con but where do you draw the line between heavy glossy marketing and a confidence trick? Grey areas. Polaris selling agents spun the same spiel that you refer to.
    Investment is legal speculation. Nothing more and nothing wrong with it. Sometimes you loose, others you win. As long as your wins outsize your losses by a decent margin it works. It’s worked for me in the past but I am far from convinced of the future. It’s always a gamble, always a punt into the educated unknown.
    Professional speculators such as I are not the same animal as second home buyers. If I get conned (and it has happened) it’s my fault, I blame no one else. I wipe my mouth and move on. Ordinary folks buying into a ‘dream’ with their life savings are real victims and it makes me personally very angry when it happens.

  • #98056
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    logan: Surely you can see that there is a world of difference between some-one buying multiple units on one development hoping to make a profit by either selling on before completion or by renting out, & some-one buying ONE property to live in for most of the year?

    I’m not saying that the TH buyers are different to most 2nd home buyers, all I am saying is that they stood no chance, because this was a very cleverly executed fraud, they HAD to rely on the professionals who were being paid to look after their interests. Their lawyers should have & could have discovered that there was no planning permission, they could have looked at the bank guarantees & checked to see if the company issuing them were licensed to do so in Spain, they did neither. This is what you pay a lawyer to do!

    Those who applied for mortgages assumed that the banks would check that the property was legal. They assumed that the same bank would not grant a mortgage to 2 separate buyers to buy the same property.

    The majority of the people I’ve met at Polaris world & similar developments bought ONE property to use either just for holidays or to live in.

    Not every-one buys for ‘investment’.

    By the way I agree with Claire as well, that the ‘investment’ buyers don’t deserve to be ripped off.

  • #98057
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    Logan and others have highlighted the fact that Spain in under-regulated in respect of anything linked to property development, with a plethora of assorted crooks having emerged from the woodwork to feed off gullible foreigners and also their own people.

    But especially in the Trampolin Hills example, foreigners were not specifically targeted, and not specifically gullible, the Spanish people also didn’t believe the sheer scale of local corruption, or incompetence if the word offends. They trusted their lawyers and banks too.

    My point is that Spain is under-regulated in many other aspects too, often to the advantage of its residents. I could go on for ever to pick examples and some seem silly, like parking where you like, ignoring traffic signs, dumping your rubbish anywhere, ignoring minor building regulations, smoking anywhere at all, selling things at various places without a licence, playing bingo and music without a licence, working ‘black’, paying black money when buying houses, etcetera.

    Doesn’t less regulation mean more freedom for a country’s citizens? Especially one emerging from a long dictatorship?

  • #98066
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    katy
    Spectator

    @Rocker wrote:

    My point is that Spain is under-regulated in many other aspects too, often to the advantage of its residents. I could go on for ever to pick examples and some seem silly, like parking where you like, ignoring traffic signs, dumping your rubbish anywhere, ignoring minor building regulations, smoking anywhere at all, selling things at various places without a licence, playing bingo and music without a licence, working ‘black’, paying black money when buying houses, etcetera.

    Yes you are correct. The spanish cheefully quickly embrace any regulations coming out of Europe because they know that they will just not be implemented, the smoking ban being a good example.

    Just been reading that Marsons one of the largest spanish tour operators is facing bankruptcy. They have 4000 staff and in March they could not pay the staff. They have now had their licence to sell holidays withdrawn. In the news today “Marsons continue to sell holidays even though their licence has been withdrawn” Don’t know who would be mad enough to book with them, maybe people who do not read 🙄

  • #98073
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    @Rocker wrote:

    Doesn’t less regulation mean more freedom for a country’s citizens? Especially one emerging from a long dictatorship?

    That is a valid point Rocker. During the Franco years patronage ruled and those in power did just as they liked. Crime did not exist because the Guardia were everywhere and if you went to jail that’s the last anyone saw of you. As long as corruption benefited the regime it was fine.
    A female friend of mine was once arrested and thrown in a cell overnight for not covering her arms in the street. 😯 She was denounced by the local priest.
    Every Spaniard has a story to tell and current generations are very careful to challenge authority or regulation in case those days return. Regulation is seen as control and they will have none of it because of the past.
    Of course lack of conformity or contempt for the law breeds corruption and dishonesty. Only it’s still not seen in that light. Spanish people believe in getting away with what you can and so do the British. Getting caught is the real sin. 🙁

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