Campaigners for compensation for people who in good faith bought illegal Spanish homes have seen what they called “a golden opportunity” snuffed out in the Senate.
Members of the Partido Popular (PP), meeting in the Senate Justice Commission to review a series of proposed amendments to the Criminal Code, voted against all amendments submitted by other political parties. This included a PSOE proposal to guarantee compensation prior to demolition to those who unknowingly purchased illegal properties.
A spokesperson for AUAN, an association representing Britons in Almeria affected by the issue of illegal houses in Spain, said:
“The procedure for dealing with amendments to the Criminal Code is not yet concluded and the Senate is due to vote on March 12. However, given the attitude of the PP and given that the PP has a majority in the Senate it is unlikely that this amendment will now be approved. This is a blow for the victims who need justice now and a lost opportunity.”
AUAN, who campaign alongside their sister organisation in Axarquia, SOHA, continued:
“It seems that there is a lack of understanding of the impact of demolitions without prior compensation to purchasers in good faith. Not only with respect to the violation of the human rights, the fundamental rights and the constitutional rights of the individual, but also the economic impact on society as a whole with regard to the reputation of Spain abroad and the confidence of foreign purchasers in the Spanish property market.
“And, also there is a lack of understanding of the damage that this type of demolition inflicts on communities that rely on foreign investment. Damage that manifests itself in social and political instability and the obstruction of economic development.
“From AUAN’s point of view, we continue to encourage all those who work towards legislation that is more just for all citizens. We always have a little hope but we are always prepared to face disappointment. Today is a day of disappointment. However, we will not give up and will continue to work for what we believe in and we believe in justice.”