Spain in Court Over Land Grab Laws

  • 16 years ago
  • Uncategorized
The European Commission recently took the Spanish Government to the European Court of Justice over the country’s notorious land grab laws. Valencia has been the main focus of the laws, where property was taken without fair compensation and many UK citizens and others have lost their homes.
Under the laws in Valencia, which were passed in the 1990s when Spanish property was just beginning its boom years, allows developers to expropriate rural land from owners if they persuade the authorities that the land is good for urban development. At that point, they can then charge the previous owners of the land for new services, such as electricity for the development. Thousands of land owners have been left homeless and penniless, including many UK citizens who are the number one foreign buyers of land in Spain. Property developers have been ruthless in taking advantage of the law, and it is claimed that many of the developments were awarded based on local connections.
A 2004 report to the European parliament denounced “serious abuses” committed under the terms of a “surrealistic” land law in Valencia and demanded compensation for thousands of people who had lost homes and money. These laws originated in Valencia, but have since spread to several other communities and Spain has to answer in court because of its EU membership. If the commission is successful in its action against Spain, it may impose financial penalties and pressure on Madrid to change the laws.
Useful Property Resources

Compare listings