viernes, 11 de febrero de 2011

Spanish Senate votes to reform the Ley de Costas Coastal Law

The two proposed ammendments will now go back to Congress for debate and possible approval
The Partido Popular and the Catalan Party CiU have managed to approve a reform of the Ley de Costas Coastal Law in the Senate.

The law has hardly been changed since its launch in 1988, but now the Senate has approved two amendments which will have to be debated in Congress. A previous attempt at reform failed by just a single vote, when debated in the Environment Commission.

Those demanding reform say they want to protect small individual property owners on the coast, while the ecologist groups are insisting that is a step against the protection of the coastline.

CiU say that they want to exclude from the law all the areas described as ‘navigable cities’ and consolidated individual urban areas along the Catalan coast at La Marina d’Empuriabrava, Canales y Urbanización de Santa Margarida and the Playa de S’Abanell.

The Partido Popular contend there has been an ‘irregular application’ of the coastal law which has left thousands of citizens without compensation.

The Government answers the criticism by saying the Constitutional Court has already backed the expropriation process used by the law and served on homes built legally on the beach before 1988, giving them a 30 year concession of use, extendable to 60 years.

The PP proposal would see such owners being allowed to keep their properties on the beach, and would entitle them to compensation should the state want to demolish their homes.

Greenpeace and the WWF have meanwhile voiced concern that the PP and CiU want to extend the privatisation of the coastline, defined in the Spanish Constitution as being ‘public domain’.

The European Parliament and both the British and German ambassadors have criticised the law as abusive.

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