viernes, 9 de julio de 2010

Spanish parliament to debate infamous Ley de Costas, or Coastal Law

The Ley de Costas has failed to protect the coast Posted on July 9, 2010 by Mark SPANISH PROPERTY INSIGHT Spanish parliamentarians will debate the infamous Ley de Costas, the bane of many holiday-home owners, for the first time since it was introduced in 1988. Finally, a political initiative from Spain’s regional political parties that makes some sense. The Coalición Canaria (CC) party from The Canaries has drummed up enough support from opposition parties such as CiU, a regional party from Catalonia, to debate new proposals to water down some aspects of the Ley de Costas. When introduced in 1988, the Ley de Costas, or Coastal Law, nationalised the entire Spanish coastline at a stroke, expropriating hundreds of thousands of properties without compensation. (Read briefing on the Ley de Costas – Spanish Coastal Law) The law was meant to protect the coast – Spain’s key tourism asset – from over-development, and make it accessible to all. But thanks to muddled thinking and terrible implementation, the law utterly failed to protect the environment whilst causing misery for tens of thousands of small property owners, many of them Britons like Heather and Jeremy Taylor. In response to the outcry from owners, Coalición Canaria propose reducing demolition threats hanging over many of the properties built on public land, even if built after the law was introduced in ’88. They also want to introduce subjective criteria such as architectural and historic values when evaluating property built on public land, whilst transferring more decision-making powers over demolitions to regional authorities. All of which would make demolitions far less likely. The moderate Catalan nationalists CiU want to revise the boundary criteria in built up areas like the Santa Margarida urbanisation (Roses, Girona), and the Empuriabrava Marina. They also point out that many of the victims of the law are foreigners who were unaware of the risks when they bought homes on the coast in good faith, resulting in international condemnation for Spain. The biggest opposition party, the PP, have not yet decided what they will do, but seem open to the debate. “People have come to regard as sacred this law that has failed to achieve its objectived, as in the 20 years since it was introduced the coast has suffered the greatest damage,” Carlos Floriano, the PP’s environmental spokesman, told the Spanish press. “It hasn’t managed to reconcile the environment and respect for private property. Many people’s rights are being violated by its procedures.” The Greens are against any reform of the Ley de Costas, despite its utter failure to protect the environment. On this question they seem more concerned with ideology than actually protecting the environment. For its part the Government, run by the PSOE socialists, opposes the proposals, though for the time being it has stopped implementing the law as rigorously as before. When will this debate take place? I’ll let you know. SPANISH PROPERTY INSIGHT

domingo, 18 de abril de 2010

Meeting Committee on Petitions EP 26/27April DRAFT AGENDA

The Committee on Petitions of the European Parliament is going to meet on 26/27 April . See Draft Agenda:- On the 27th April at 10 h. there will be the Chairman's announcements concerning coordinators' decisions In the minutes of the previous meeting (to be approved), it states:- Decision: Request President Buzek to write a letter to the Spanish Prime Minister, highlighting, inter alia, the arbitrary application of the law, the lack of legal certainty, unfair compensation. Write a letter to Commissioner Viviane Reding asking for clarification on the aspects of petitions related to the Charter of Fundamental Rights and the ECHR. The coordinators will discuss other possible follow-up measures.

jueves, 15 de abril de 2010

Calamity in Roses

From Peter Moore in Roses (via AUN) we have got the following report on his incredible situation:
The past 6 months have turned a crisis into a calamity in the Catalonia port town of Roses.
In Santa Margarita, a small enclave at the city limits, the rule of law and common justice has been abandoned in favour of shameless piracy.
Firstly as I informed you some time ago we have been subject to the Spanish Ley de Costas that is currently working its way across Spain expropriating land and property within 200m to 500m of the shoreline. However, in our case this law has been applied in a way that would leave a geographer shaking his head in disbelief.
However, this is Spain, a member state of the European Union, where laws are created and then used to steal from rather than to protect the private citizen.
Living as I do at a distance of 1000M to 1500M from the shoreline (as the crow flies) my property and many others like it have become subject to this costal law on the basis that the canals to which our properties adjoin contain seawater and as such have been declared as the sea. There is no recognition of the fact that these canals were built on a lake and on a river bed. The previous demarcation clearly evidences the shoreline ending where the canals begin. There is no recognition from the Spanish authorities of legally binding deeds and contracts that declare private ownership of both land and berths. That the private development predates the Ley de Costas and that the law is being applied retrospectively. History is being rewritten and our property is being expropriated under Spanish Law. You would think it bad enough that the Spanish authorities were trying to grab property belonging to private citizens in such a parasitical way but that is just the start of it. The local and regional administration are challenging the Spanish authorities who are imposing the Ley de Costas on us, not to protect the property and rights of their citizens, but to further exploit them. The regional authorities want to wrestle control of the area away from private ownership so that they can create a ‘sports marina’. This will involve them taking away 6M of privately owned land to create a public walkway (often this land forms part of a private citizens house situated on the canals). A marina will be developed, and the canals which private citizens have maintained over the past 30-40 years will be also be developed.(?) Private Citizens who live on the canals will then be charged for the privilege of the expropriation. The cost for this work is estimated at 19 – 60 million Euros to be paid for by the owners of the properties who are losing not only their berths but their land and in some case their houses too. No compensation but expensive berth fees to be charged to anyone wishing to rent back what they previously owned. Only a small percentage of the effected residents received any official notification in their post boxes warning them of the possibility of expropriation of their property and even less have received notification that laws have now been passed approving of the expropriation. We owners have been given one year to apply for a temporary concession to use what was formally ours until such time that the development occurs. (Very few owners have been officially informed of this.) We are no longer allowed to sell our properties as the authorities will no longer register them. And don’t believe this has anything to do with protecting the environment. While our private land is subject to expropriation, on the other side of the river, the public land that forms part of a protected nature reserve is being industrialised to create a dry dock without any protection from flooding! The local authorities believe that can gain around a million Euros each year for fees for berths (currently/previously owned by us) you will understand that the environment is not real motivator. There are many interested parties lurking in the shadows, with some potential benefactors openly suggesting that deals have already been stuck. If the development goes ahead the environment damage to the area will be there for all to see. Catalan or Spanish abuse? Choose your poison. We Europeans who pay taxes in Spain, lubricate the Spanish economy are at the mercy of unjust and unworthy law makers and officials. We may not be being killed, but Spain is becoming the Balkans of Western Europe where Europeans are being cleansed of their land by Catalans and Spanish authorities alike. Here there are no NATO planes flying overhead or UN peacekeepers on the ground to defend us. We need European wide action now from our MEPs as the only thing that will stop this corruption in Spain is to deprived her officials of European money. Only when Spain shows she can act as a modern western democracy should she be allowed to share in European wide benefits. Happy for you to publicise this widely.
Read much more about those effected on the website
Best wishes Peter

domingo, 21 de marzo de 2010

LIVE transmition from Petitions Committee of EP re Spanish Coastal Law

To follow the LIVE transmition from the Petitions Committee of the EP regarding the abusive application of the Spanish Coastal Law (LEY DE COSTAS) follow the Link :- The Spanish government will speak on the 22 of March (item $9 and the Petitioners on the 23 March. (item 17) See Agenda below.

viernes, 19 de marzo de 2010

Meeting Committee on Petitions EP 22/23 March DRAFT AGENDA

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT 2009 - 2014 Committee on Petitions PETI_OJ(2010)183_1 DRAFT AGENDA Meeting Monday 22 March 2010, 15.00 – 18.30 Tuesday 23 March 2010, 9.00 – 12.30 Brussels Room PHS P4B001 1. Adoption of draft agenda (1) PE 439.859 FdR 808647 2. Chairman's announcements 3. Any other business In the presence of the European Commission A. Petitions for discussion in committee on the basis of the Commission's written reply Environment Statement by the Spanish authorities concerning the Ley de Costas petitions (see item 17) Report on the Fact-finding visit to Huelva on petitions 631/2007, 1458/2007 and 1682/2007 (16-18.02.2010) - consideration DT– PE 439,341 FdR 806932 Child protection Discrimination Social Affairs Economic and Monetary Affairs Fundamental rights Health 23 March 2010, 9.00 – 12.30 from 9 h. to 10 h. (in camera) Coordinators' meeting at 10 h. Chairman's announcements concerning coordinators' decisions Working document on Bio-diversity (2009/2108(INI)) Rapporteur : BOSTINARU (S-D) - consideration of a working document and possibly a draft opinion DT– PE 438.284 FdR 806215 Environment 17 Spain - Ley de Costas N° 174/2008 by Mr. Jose Ortega (Spanish), on the alleged abusive application of the Spanish law of the coasts in relation to property rights (in the presence of the petitioner) and N° 303/2008 by Rosa Garcia Pose (Spanish), bearing 55 signatures, on the loss of the signatories' homes as a result of coastal zone protection measures in the province of La Coruña and N° 867/2008 by Ms. Karin Koberling (German), on alleged abusive application of the law of the coast by the Spanish authorities and N° 1448/2008 by Ursula Czelusta (German), on surveying activities on the Spanish coast and the possible compulsory purchase of her home in Spain and N° 1485/2008 by Alan Hazelhurst (British), on illegal application of the Spanish Law of the Coast (Ley de Costas) and N° 1691/2008 by Oscar Maniaga Izquierdo (Spanish), on expropriation of his house in Alicante, Spain, under the Spanish Coastal Law and N° 103/2009 by Margarita García Jaime (Spanish) concerning the ‘Ley de Costas’ (Coastal Law) in Spain and N° 119/2009 by Jan Van Stuyvesant (Dutch), on behalf of the Vera Playa Property Owners Association, Almeria, Spain, on the situation arising from the 'Ley de Costas' (Coastal Law) in Spain (possibly in the presence of the petitioner) and N° 274/2009 by Tomás González Díaz (Spanish), on behalf of the Las Calas residents’ association, on the demolition under the ‘Ley de Costas’ (coastal law) of the village of Cho-Vito situated on the coast of Tenerife in Candelaria (Spain) (possibly in the presence of the petitioner) and N° 278/2009 by Gregorio Amo López (Spanish), on the Coastal Law in Asturias, Spain and N° 279/2009 by Timoteo Giménez Domingo (Spanish), on the impact of the Coastal Law in Spain (in the presence of the petitioner) and N° 296/2009 by Ingeborg Hoffman (German), on behalf of the Empuriabrava Association of Property Owners (APE), on the loss or limitation of property rights following the application of the Spanish Coastal Law to the Costa Brava (in the presence of the petitioner) and N° 298/2009 by Wolfgang Ludwigs (German), on the Spanish Coastal Law N° 1271/2008 by Rudolf Schneiders (German) on possible enforcement of the ‘Ley de Costa’ in Spain N° 1871/2008 by the Celorio Residents' Association concerning urban development projects in Celorio, Asturias, Spain N° 389/2009 by M. L. (German), concerning the loss of his property in Spain under the Spanish Coastal Law (in the presence of the petitioner) N° 606/2009 by Paula Llaneza Alcada (Spanish), bearing 2 signatures, on the implications of the Spanish Coastal Law (‘Ley de Costas’) with regard to her properties N° 611/2009 by Maria Jesús de Motta Martínez (Spanish), on the implications of the ‘Ley de Costas’ coastal law with regard to his property N° 618/2009 by María Luisa Domínguez Ibáñez (Spanish), on the implications of the ‘Ley de Costas’ (Coastal Law) with regard to her property N° 626/2009 by Nordhild Köhler (German), concerning implementation of the Spanish Coastal Law (Ley de Costas) on Formentera (in the presence of the petitioner) N° 666/2009 by Carmen Ramos Badia (Spanish), on the implications of the Spanish Coastal Law (‘Ley de Costas’) with regard to her property N° 667/2009 by Jon Iturribarria de Castro (Spanish), on the implications of the Spanish Coastal Law (‘Ley de Costas’) with regard to his property, a tide mill built in 1683 (in the presence of the petitioner) N° 676/2009 by Jorge Comin Giner (Spanish) on the implications of the Coastal Law ‘Ley de Costas’ for his home N° 708/2009 by Pedro López Rodríguez (Spanish) concerning the Coastal Law (Ley de Costas) N° 881/2009 by Pilar Embeita Olasagasti (Spanish), on behalf of Asociacion DARACA, on the retroactive, arbitrary and abusive implementation of the Coastal Law in the municipality of Pielagos N° 1344/2009 by José Manuel Dolón García (Spanish), on the impact of the Coastal Law regarding works being carried out on the Torrevieja promenade N° 1346/2009 by José María Martínez de Haro (Spanish), on boundary demarcation in Garrucha, Almería, under the Coastal Law N° 1499/2009 by Mercedes Bronchal Pascual and Antonio Maestre Azcon (Spanish) concerning the effect on their homes of the 'coastal law' N° 1573/2009 by Aurelio Pretel Marín (Spanish), on the Coastal Law N° 1691/2009 by Dolores Monferrer Guardiola (Spanish), bearing 40 signatures, on the demolition of homes in the Puig district (Valencia) under the terms of the Coastal Law 18 N° 295/2005 by James Lunney (presumably Irish), on behalf of the Nevitt Lusk Action Group against a Superdump, on a proposed landfill facility(in the presence of the petitioner) B. Petitions which it is proposed to close in the light of the Commission's written reply 19 to 94 95 Date and place of next meeting !! 26 April 2010, 15.00 – 18.30 27 April 2010, 9.00 – 12.30

jueves, 11 de febrero de 2010

Marta Andreasen MEP visit to Spain to help ABUSES cases in AUKEN report.

Marta Andreasen( UK MEP) is determined to help us on the Spanish “abuses” issue, she is planning to come to Spain to meet with some of those who have complained to her (and other MEPs) about problems they have been having here recently, principally with respect to their property ( whether they stem from land law, licence issues, Coastal law, etc.). Her visit would be in the near future. Ms. Andreasen speaks English and Spanish. She will have very limited time and may get no furthur than Andalucia. Time will be short but If you have serious suggestions for the visit or are prepared to assist in arranging for a meeting with her I encourage you to contact Richard King

Question to be asked in the European Parliament (possibly) on 24Feb.

The European Parliament has called three times for the Spanish Government to come to the assistance of foreign property owners, most recently in an own-initiative report from the Petitions Committee adopted in March 2009 (P6_TA(2009)0192). ((AUKEN REPORT )) It recalled that Parliament, as the budgetary authority, may decide to place funding set aside for cohesion policies in the reserve as a means of persuading a Member State to end serious breaches of the rules and principles which it is obliged to respect as a result of the application of EU law, until such time as the problem is resolved. Parliament recalled also that the Commission is empowered to suspend structural funding to the Member State or region concerned, and to establish corrections in relation to projects in receipt of funding which are subsequently deemed not to have fully complied with the rules governing the application of the relevant acts. Problems of second-home-owners persist, partly because of divergent views on governance. The European Parliament has called three times for the Spanish Government to come to the assistance of foreign property owners, most recently in an own-initiative report from the Petitions Committee adopted in March 2009 (P6_TA(2009)0192). ((AUKEN REPORT )) It recalled that Parliament, as the budgetary authority, may decide to place funding set aside for cohesion policies in the reserve as a means of persuading a Member State to end serious breaches of the rules and principles which it is obliged to respect as a result of the application of EU law, until such time as the problem is resolved. Parliament recalled also that the Commission is empowered to suspend structural funding to the Member State or region concerned, and to establish corrections in relation to projects in receipt of funding which are subsequently deemed not to have fully complied with the rules governing the application of the relevant acts. Problems of second-home-owners persist, partly because of divergent views on governance. The Spanish Presidency has shown a readiness to listen to concerns on this matter coming from several political groups. Does the Council agree that every effort should be made to see that this subject is resolved under this Presidency? What concrete initiatives will it pursue, and when? Marta Andreasen UK MEP

Debate in EU on Spanish Coastal law and -Urbanistic- Abuses on the 24 FEB 2010

Write to your MEP´s today and ask them to support a debate in the EU Parliament on Spanish Coastal law and the AUKEN report on the 24/25 FEB. On monday 8 Feb, in the European Parliament, Marta Andreasen (MEP UK)tried to put a debate on the housing abuse in Spain onto Parliament’s agenda. The Spanish delegations in the EPP and the Socialist parties persuaded their groups to vote against so the result was 69 to 216 against her proposal. She has requested that the debate be re-tabled for the February 24th-25th part session, and the request already has the full support of the Greens. In order to balance the Spanish opposition it would be a good idea if you could write an e-mail to your MEP see:-;jsessionid=1AA782A3A2D2013FA4D0608D571A707F.node1?language=en

viernes, 29 de enero de 2010

2010/01/27 Spanish coastal law Question in European Parliament

Questions were asked in the European Parliament´s committee on the Environment re the Spanish Coastal Law LEY DE COSTAS. Video of Intervention 2010/01/27 Spanish coastal law Question in European Parliament

Debate in the European Parliament re the Spanish presidency:- question for Zapatero on Property rights

Marta Andreasen, on behalf of the EFD Group . – Mr President, thank you. Mr Zapatero, I have listened with attention to your proposals for the Spanish Presidency, and I can only wish you luck. I will now refer to a reality. I represent the South East of England, and many of my constituents – together with other European citizens – have been suffering urbanisation abuses on the Mediterranean coast and in other parts of Spain for a long time now. Three reports have been adopted by this Parliament urging the Spanish authorities to take action but, other than the conviction of a few politicians and the passing of a new Land Law, no specific action has been taken to defend the people who are suffering prejudice. The problems my constituents face range from the dramatic situation of Len and Helen Prior of Berkshire, who saw their house being demolished because the authorities said it was built in breach of coastal law, to cases like that of Doreen Snook, also from Berkshire, in Alicante, and Mr Lohmann in Lanzarote, who cannot actually live in the houses they have purchased because of the lack of proper infrastructure and services. As a national of Spain, I am ashamed to see what is going on in my country. I have big concerns for the future of the Spanish tourism business now that the press is writing about the bad fortune of these people. Señor Zapatero, me dirijo ahora a usted en su lengua materna, que es la mía. Los afectados no son personas de gran fortuna, son simplemente personas que, con el fruto de su trabajo, compraron una casa en este país de clima benigno y buena gente para vivir una vez jubilados. Esta gente se ve injustamente abocada a pagar honorarios de abogados y otros expertos para defender el caso por vía judicial, todo ello sin grandes perspectivas de éxito. The European Union has been convincing its population that it is there to maintain peace in Europe. Is this situation I describe going to bring peace to Europe? You are telling us that you are going to get Europe out of the crisis. If you cannot solve the problem I am referring to, how much credibility can you have in solving Europe’s financial crisis? Mr Zapatero, we want a solution now. We want the people to be able to live in the houses they bought. If this is not possible, they need to be granted a fair compensation that allows them to buy a similar property. This Parliament has only threatened to block payments of subsidies to Spain, but I can assure you that, if this situation is not resolved during the Spanish Presidency, I will do everything I can to turn this threat into action.

domingo, 3 de enero de 2010

Campaigning to safeguard our homes

Abusos Urbanisticos Almanzora No Campaigning to safeguard our homes AUAN Press release – 1st January 2010 Contact or call 646506943 ENOUGH IS ENOUGH – THE VICTIMS TAKE TO THE STREETS British ex-pats in the South of Spain are organising themselves to strongly oppose eight demolition orders recently issued to British residents in the town of Albox, Almeria. We understand that none of the victims had been informed of the initial proceedings, and indeed the demolition notification has come as a big shock to them. We consider that they were deprived of a proper opportunity to defend the action, and that their human rights have been infringed. The Auan’s legal representatives, and the victim’s lawyers, are attempting to mount a legal challenge to the imminent demolitions, together with the support of the Mayor of Albox, who described the demolition orders as an ‘atrocity’. Candlelight Vigil 9th January The first of two planned actions will be the holding of a candlelight vigil on the 9th of Janurary in the ruins of the home of Len and Helen Prior, pensioners whose house was illegally demolished in nearly Vera two years ago on that date. This couple are still living in what was their former garage with no mains water, no electricity and absolutely no sign of any compensation for their loss. This event is the result of collaboration between two local groups (AUAN, AULAN) fighting urban corruption in the area and they will be joined by representatives from across Spain, including the newly formed National Federation of Organisations against urban abuse (FAUN). Peaceful Protest March 11th January The presentation, just before Christmas, of yet more demolition orders to unsuspecting homeowners in the area, again without any sign of compensation, has been the catalyst for the ex-pat community to take to the streets and make its voice heard. The AUAN (an organisation of homeowners in the area campaigning to obtain legal status for members’ property) is organising a march in Almeria town on the 11th of January to protest against this scandal and appeal to the authorities to respond to the just demands of those innocent people who invested in good faith and are now facing the possible loss of their home and life savings. We are protesting against legal and planning uncertainty, against bad administration and corruption, against the failure to respect citizens’ human rights and against the failure of the administration to comply with European Parliament resolutions including the Auken report. We cannot sit back and watch these demolitions and will do everything possible to avoid this injustice. March Route The starting point for the demonstration is the Puerta de Purchena at midday (12.00). The route is envisaged to follow the Ramble de Obispo Orbera to the Rambla de Almería (Avenida de Federico García Lorca). There will be a pause for speeches in the area of the Obelisk in calle Regina Regente and the marchers will return to Puerta de Purchena at apx 15.00. We are not prepared to stand politely by as more unfortunate families are destroyed through no fault of their own. Recourse to further demolitions will only further damage Spain’s image abroad. The authorities must be made to realise that to continue with these actions is not acceptable, is contrary to the rights of its citizens, attracts damaging and hostile publicity and is tantamount to economic suicide in this region. Support We ask all citizens and groups who wish to raise their voice and make their presence felt to turn up and support us. For further information contact or call 646506943.