Dear Mr. President,
The European Parliament has more than once officially requested your government to observe and enforce the property laws and, in particular, the rights of small property owners, as specified in the various European Union agreements to which Spain is a party.
Three European Parliamentary delegations have visited this country over the past three years, and having investigated the situation in depth, have determined that there are very clear abuses of the laws governing urban development and the protection of the environment in the Valencian region and more generally in Spain.
Over the last four years the situation of the affected owners has not changed substantively. Every day there are reports of more cases of European citizens (Spanish and others) who have been deprived of their property rights and their assets. With great frequency, television channels and newspapers from all over Europe are reporting on the near total disregard not only of EU, but also Spanish property laws, further eroding the reputation of Spain as a place to live and invest in.
You will be aware that many non-Spanish European property owners who have houses in Spain are selling their properties and returning to their countries of origin vowing never to set foot on Spanish soil again. Unfortunately, they have lost all confidence in the Spanish legal system and its governments', local, regional and national commitments to protect their rights. European citizens expect, with reason, the same protection of their property in Spain and the environment as they would enjoy in their own country. We do not want to draw further attention to a potential disaster, but simply to make known the facts as we know them.
If you as leader of the nation wish to change this unfortunate situation, in our view, you should do so as soon as possible. There is no time to lose. If you do not, in the near future, no foreigner will want to invest in property in Spain. I assure you that none of us who live here wish to see Spain further lose its attractiveness as the place which was for decades the first choice in Europe, not only as a holiday destination, but the one most favoured in which to purchase second or even permanent residences.
Enrique Climent and Charles Svoboda
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