- David Lidington, Minister for Europe
- United Kingdom
An open letter to David Lidington, MP, Minister for Europe
Dear David Lidington,
On 4 May 2011 and again in June, Sr. Jose Blanco, the Spanish Development Minister (El Ministro de Fomento), is to head-up a road show in London to encourage British buyers of property abroad, whether as an investment or for their own private use, to consider once again purchasing property in Spain.
If you have read the two major reports undertaken, published and approved by the European Parliament over the last 6 years you will be well aware of the problems encountered by purchasers and would-be purchasers of property in all parts of Spain but particularly in Valencia, Andalucia, Murcia and Almeria. These reports co-authored by Michael Cashman and Marcin Libicki in 2006 and by Margrete Auken and David Hammerstein in 2009 detailed the irregularities and outlined the pitfalls of purchasing property in Spain. Over the same number of years, there have been numerous attempts from MEPs of all political persuasions to draw attention in the EP to the scandalous practices which appear to be perfectly acceptable by the Spanish Government. I refer to those of Roger Helmer and Sir Robert Atkins (Conservative), Glennis Wilmott and Michael Cashman (Labour), Margarete Auken (Green) and Marta Andreason (UKIP) amongst others, all of which can be viewed on the EP website.
Petitions have been, and are being, written to authorities both here and in Spain. http://www.spanishpropertyscandalpetition.co.uk/ and http://www.bankguaranteesinspain.com/
Petitioners themselves have spoken in the European Parliament Petitions Committee - Suzanne Wyatt in 2009 bearing a petition with well over 1000 signatures and Maura Hillen in April 2011 representing large numbers of the AUAN organisation concerned with property abuses in the Almanazora Valley. The facts they presented are truly horrific.
Mr. Lidington: the Spanish Minister, Sr. Blanco, needs to be confronted. You are the man to do it. We elected you to do it.
We request, therefore, that any permissions gained by Sr. Jose Blanco to promote the purchase of Spanish Property here in the UK should be withdrawn immediately until such time as monies are returned under the Spanish Bank Guarantee scheme (which was specifically drawn up to combat corrupt practices) and until the backlog of court cases are dealt with fairly according to the very excellent laws of Spain.
These laws (Ley 57/68) are currently being flouted, blatantly ignored and/or deliberately misinterpreted by developers, banks, lawyers, judges and town hall officials. When seen collectively, it beggars belief. The Spanish Government, of which this man is a part, has to take responsibility for the absurd mess its property market is in. Since 2006 Michael Cashman has consistently called for “the authorities in Spain … to put their house in order. If they fail to do this then the European Commission may have to use its power to withhold funds until they do.”
Sr. Jose Blanco, representing his government, should not be encouraged in this country until he can show a clean pair of hands. Mr. Lidington, we are looking to you to insist on this.
The undersigned who have all been financially and/or physically damaged by the stress experienced in attempting to purchase property in Spain over the last decade.