news from Michael Cashman MEP
Labour member of the European Parliament for the West Midlands Region
For immediate release
Michael Cashman MEP meets victims of Spanish Land grab law
Michael Cashman, Labour MEP leading the charge against abuses under the infamous "land grab laws" in Spain, visited Alicante and Javea (Valencia Region) last week to meet with citizens affected by the laws.
Michael met with a group of British Ex-patriots in Javea and later with the President, Charles Svoboda, of the major association fighting for property rights and the protection of the environment in the Valencian region (Abusos Urbanisticos NO - AUN). Michael's meetings follow the Commission's recent "reasoned opinion" that the Spanish national and regional governments are still not respecting EU law when it comes to public procurement procedures and development of land in the Valencia region.
Speaking after his meetings Michael said:
"It saddens me that, on returning to Valencia well over a year after leading the European Parliament's delegation, little has changed. Abuses under the previous LRAU and current LUV laws go on and have resulted in serious violations of basic human rights as regards property, as well as environmental degradation of the fragile Mediterranean coastal and nearby inland areas.
"I remain convinced that the governing land laws still do not offer adequate protection in either area and remain in breach of many EU laws as regards the environment, public contracts and certain basic rights, such as the right to private property.”
Cashman and Svoboda agreed that, following the overwhelming adoption by the Parliament last December of the fact finding missions' report and the subsequent work by the European Commission, the Commission's recent ultimatum to bring the regional land laws into line with EU norms within two months or face action by the Court of Justice fully vindicates not only the four year long efforts of AUN but also the conclusions reached by the investigation process which were overwhelmingly approved by the European Parliament in a report at the end of last year.
Michael reminded those at the meetings that despite significant institutional successes at EU level there are no grounds for complacency.
“The European Parliament, its Petitions Committee, as well as the courts of Justice and Human Rights will continue to have a significant role to play in bringing an end to the injustices we have witnessed with the borders of an existing EU member state. I trust the responsible Spanish authorities will hear what is being said and react quickly and positively in order to end the injustices and living nightmares these abusive laws are having on those affected.”
Michael concluded by renewing his personal commitment to achieving a resolution to the problems.
"You have my assurance that we in the EP will do all we can to monitor developments and keep up the political pressure on Spain to end the abuses which have caused and continue to cause so much agony for so many of you."
For more details please contact Michael Cashman on 0032 22845759
Notes to Editors:
Michael was in Alicante and Javea on Friday and Saturday 20 and 21 October. He met with a group of ex-pats affected by the laws in Javea on Friday and with Charles Svoboda, President AUN on Saturday morning.
For more details of AUN's actions see their website: http://www.abusos-no.org/
See link to Commission press release for more details on the recent decision by the Commission and its implications:
A formal request ("reasoned opinion"), from the Commission represents a second stage on the road towards the European Court of Justice.
The European Parliament sent 2 delegations to the Valencian region in 2004 and 2005 to investigate concerns raised by some 15,000 citizens who had submitted petitions on the issue. Michael Cashman was head of the second delegation in his capacity as First Vice Chair of the Petition's committee.
In December 2005 the EP adopted a report which made a series of recommendations to the Valencian government in order to rectify the inconsistencies between the LRAU law and EU law. In reaction to the Parliament's and Commission's concerns of breach of EC law, the Valencian government adopted a new law (LUV law) in December 2005. The Commission and EP remain unconvinced that this new law conforms with EU law.
See link to EP's report adopted in December 2005:
The information provided on abusos-no.org is not intended to be legal advice,
but merely conveys general information related to issues commonly encountered.