Victory for Valencian land grab victims

MEPs adopt critical report calling for expropriation to end

Strasbourg, 26th March 2009 — The European Parliament’s adoption of a highly critical report into so-called ‘Valencian land grabs’ will send a powerful signal to the Spanish authorities to end this scandal, Sir Robert Atkins MEP, Conservative petitions spokesman in Strasbourg, said today.

Sir Robert has led the call for MEPs to speak out against the demolition of thousands of properties in Spain - many of them belonging to British expatriates - without compensation. In some cases, the authorities have even charged the property owners for the installation of local infrastructure, even after they have lost their property

A number of Conservative MEPs including Neil Parish and Roger Helmer have been active in the campaign to end the scandal, which led to the parliament adopting the report drafted by Margrete Auken, a Danish Green MEP, this morning.

Sir Robert said:

“We have heard from so many British citizens who were frankly victims of a scandal sanctioned by the Spanish authorities.

“The emotional and financial trauma so many home owners have suffered must be put right. Over the years we have been beset by British expatriates who have presented hundreds of petitions representing thousands of residents. We simply could not turn a blind eye and allow this to go on.

“The adoption of the parliament’s report is an important step in securing some justice for land grab victims but our campaign will not rest until this unjust law has been overturned.”

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