Letters & Contacts

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    • #53020

      Mark – A huge thank you for this additional Forum on SPI. I am sure it will be a very welcome aid to those who face serious problems with their property purchase in Spain.

      On 11 July I received a response from the Office of our new Minister for Europe – Jim Murphy. They acknowledge my letter & copy of letter to his predecessor Geoff Hoon, and say this has been passed to Mr Murphy for his Personal Attention & Response. I think this is excellent news. For anyone who wants to write to Jim Murphy MEP, his details can be found here:

      Will let you know when I hear from Jim Murphy & what he has to say.

      Please continue to send your ‘signatures’ to Our Petition. In support of Our Petition, details can also be added to the Lawyer Complaints Document, in the event of breaches of Professional Codes of Ethics, Conduct & Practice. Both will be presented to the British Government via the Minister for Europe, and also to the relevant Spanish Authorities:

      Very Many Thanks

    • #73613

      This morning I received a follow up letter from Derek Clark, another of my MEPs (UKIP), with enclosures from the Spanish Ambassador and from Jim Murphy, Minister for Europe, sent in response to DC’s enquiries on my behalf.

      The Spanish Ambassador’s brief reply is merely a referral to the British Consulate in Malaga.

      Jim Murphy’s letter (dated 4 July), however, is a confirmation that lobbying has been, and continues to be, done by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) on behalf of aggrieved UK citizens. In two short paragraphs he runs through the history of the unravelling scandals in Marbella during this past year, and then mentions the FCO’s resulting lobbying points –
      * the improvement of planning procedures and legislation on urban development
      * careful consideration before ordering demolition of properties bought by UK citizens in good faith
      * improved transparency over planning procedures following the property scandals in Marbella
      * the revision of the national land law to improve planning procedures nationwide

      While assuring us of his best efforts he goes on to say that ‘we cannot help in specific cases: we have neither the legal expertise nor the resources.’ Again we are given the advice to engage the services of an independent lawyer. To help with this he has enclosed a list of 9 lawyers in Malaga Province who correspond in English. The list gives their contact numbers and addresses and describes the branches of law in which each firm specialises. This list is provided by the British Consulate at Malaga and comes with a disclaimer – HMG take no responsibility for the competence or probity… etc.

      Finally he gives the email address of the British Embassy in Madrid where general information and advice can be obtained.



    • #73615

      Thanks for your news Roots.

      Although this article concentrates on Bulgaria & Romania, most of it could equally have been written about Spain: http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/06/27/europe/EU-GEN-EU-New-Members-Reforms.php

      In part:
      ‘BRUSSELS, Belgium: ……..EU Justice and Home Affairs Commissioner Franco Frattini said the two countries, which joined the bloc in January, needed to step up their battle against corruption and work to overcome a backlog of cases waiting to go to court, in order to meet EU rules.
      “High-level corruption is still one point of weakness, both governments are aware of this,” Frattini told reporters after the European Commission adopted report cards on the two EU members……….
      The European Commission had threatened to invoke so-called safeguard clauses under the two countries’ membership treaties. The clauses would have suspended their participation in EU justice and interior policies until they meet EU standards in the area.
      Frattini warned them, however, that the threat of such a sanction would be extended until June 2008, when another report card is to be issued on their reforms.
      The threat is meant to put extra pressure on the two countries to redouble efforts to overhaul their judicial systems.
      Frattini said the reports welcomed recent reforms and amendments to national constitutions to combat corruption and to overhaul judicial systems to cope with numerous cases and deliver unbiased judgments.
      “The problem now is implementation,” Frattini said………..
      Concern over corruption and organized crime has led the EU to insist on a long period of monitoring of the two countries’ progress.
      Both countries must report to the EU every six months on progress in reforms to curb corruption and streamline their judiciaries — or risk losing a chunk of economic aid. The EU has welcomed recent moves in Romania to take action against corruption among political leaders.

      In May, former Romanian Prime Minister Adrian Nastase was charged over allegations he used his office to end probe into his bank accounts on claims he accepted just over a million euros in bribes. Meanwhile in Bulgaria, an unfolding corruption scandal has implicated the economy minister and the government’s chief investigator……’ END

      Pressuring the EC to threaten to impose Sanctions on Spain is certainly relevant. I am sure there are many more people aware of & affected by corruption in Spain than in Bulgaria/Romania. There is obviously more going on in this political area than we are aware of – maybe this is already on the cards, but more continued pressure from those of us involved has to be a very positive move.

      Franco Frattini is the Vice President of the European Commission. I will write to him this evening, & hope others here can also contact him.
      His Contact Details: http://ec.europa.eu/commission_barroso/frattini/contact_en.htm

      If I have not received a response from Jim Murphy by the end of this week I shall write to him again. I find his comment ‘we cannot help in specific cases’ totally irrelevant.

    • #73708

      Thank you for that, Suzanne. I was interested to read about the organisation ‘Transparency International’ which I had to Google to find. I hadn’t heard of them before. I quote,

      <Transparency International, a global corruption watchdog said the EU will be hard pressed to force Bulgaria and Romania to do more, now that the two are in the EU. The group urged the EU to set up permanent anti-corruption monitoring for all EU states “to keep up pressure where national pressure has not been sufficient.”>

      Wonderful intentions… but thinking of Spain, it all seems a long way away especially as Spain has been in the EU for much longer than Bulgaria and Romania. But it might be worth contacting TI.

      I quote: <A number of current TI initiatives are focussing on the defence industry, the engineering and construction industry and the extractive industries (forthcoming). >

      If you search their site http://www.transparency.org you will find references to Marbella (in Spanish – which I don’t speak). I think they need to read your dossier in full!


    • #73733

      @roots wrote:

      If you search their site http://www.transparency.org you will find references to Marbella (in Spanish – which I don’t speak). I think they need to read your dossier in full!

      Good idea roots, I’ll contact them too.
      No response from Jim Murphy as yet, so I’ll write again today. I will also up-date him re: my letter to Franco Frattini & planned contact with transparency.org.

    • #73737

      I came across this http://www.marbellascandal.com
      The woman was on the new spanish channel (287??) and she was speaking about Los Lagos de Santa Maria.

    • #73739

      I wrote to this website weeks ago but have never received a reply. Who is ‘the woman’ Katy, please ❓

    • #73752

      I don’t know but think it may be the woman who was on another TV programme about Los Lagos as the story was very similar (she paid for a mountain view and they built another block behind). I only saw half of the programme

    • #87921

      Just wanted to post the details of ‘our’ new Minister for Europe – from 03/10/08:

      Caroline Flint MEP
      Constituency Office Meteor House
      First Avenue
      Doncaster DN9 3GA
      Phone 01302 623330
      Fax 01302 775099
      E-mail flintc@parliament.uk*
      House of Commons 020 7219 4407

      Flint’s website states:
      By parliamentary convention Caroline Flint may only assist residents of the Don Valley constituency. ❗

      Looking back over the threads, thought I’d post the details in this one; it makes interesting reading 16 months later!

      I never did get a reply from Jim Murphy or Frattini. Let’s see if Ms Flint can be bothered to reply. Am also awaiting a further response from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office et al.

    • #88060

      Just had an email from Caroline Flint’s office:
      ‘ A strict parliamentary protocol requires that MP’s only act on behalf of their own constituents. If you live in the Don Valley constituency, please include your name, postal address and telephone number in your email. Without these details it will not be possible to reply.

      If you do not live in the Don Valley constituency and your enquiry relates to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, please direct your email to my ministerial office at:psflint@fco.gov.uk ‘.

      So, I’ve written again to psflint@fco.gov.uk.
      Hopefully, there will be a reply.

    • #95071

      Since Our Petition started we’ve had five Ministers for Europe: Geoff Hoon, Jim Murphy, Caroline Flint (she never replied), Glenys Kinnock (lasted 3 or 4 months), and now Chris Bryant.

      For anyone who wants to write to him his email address is:

      His comments via the FCO contain the same standard reply: ‘The UK government has no authority to get involved in any matters relating to Spanish domestic legislation…..’, but he has promised to try & intervene on behalf of another British couple who are facing imminent demolition. He also speaks Spanish fluently. Just hope all the personal publicity doesn’t interfere with his post.

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