Spanish property expropriation is a scandal

Brussels, 20th January 2009 — Victims of so-called ‘Valencian land-grabs’ were in Brussels today to set out their case to Spanish regional officials and the European Parliament’s petitions committee.

Thousands of properties in Spain have been demolished without confiscation for their owners - many of whom are British expats. In some cases, the authorities have even charged the property owners for the installation of local infrastructure, even after they have lost their property. The European Parliament has been attempting to highlight their plight for several years, and MEPs continually demand an end to the scandal.

Sir Robert Atkins MEP, who has led the campaign to scrap the law and provide justice for those affected, said:

“The continuing failure by the Spanish authorities of all persuasions to address the excesses of so-called ‘urbanisation’ of tourist areas at the expense of local house-owners is a scandal.

“I have been beset by British expatriates who have suffered severe financial and emotional trauma and citizens from many other countries are in the same position.

“The Petitions committee has received hundreds of petitions representing thousands of residents. Their plight simply cannot be allowed to go on.

“There is considerable support for action across all parties and all EU countries. We all demand immediate action from Spanish Regional and National Governments.”

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