There has been ample media coverage detailing cases involving foreign property investors being stung by dishonest sellers and falling prey to the unforgiving land laws across the regions of Spain.
Gordon Brown is to meet the Spanish Prime Minister this week carrying the hopes of expats with him, in the belief that Brown will fight their corner.
There is already an existing national federation, which has been registered in Madrid, whose aim it is to protect and defend the rights of property owners in Spain. Namely the ‘Spanish Federation of Associations in Defense of Human Rights and against Urban and Environmental Abuses’ (FAUN), translated from ‘Federación Española de Asociaciones en defensa de los Derechos Humanos y en contra de los Atropellos Urbanísticos y Medioambientales’
The latter are closely related to a similar association, AUN, who are based in the Costa Blanca. For almost ten years now, AUN have been fighting in the region of Valencia against development and land law abuses. The members however are also well aware that such scenarios are not exclusive to that region alone.
According to sources, the interim vice president for FAUN, Charles Svoboda, stated: "Each autonomous region has adopted laws similar to the Valencian land laws that encourage speculation and outrageous planning, with its attendant corruption, rising house prices, environmental degradation, while burying us in asphalt and cement. "‘Urbanismo'' has been seen as a rich source of instant wealth feeding the politicians'' and developers'' insatiable appetites."
He added, "We must seize the opportunity provided by the current economic and financial crisis that has restrained land grab and construction activity to ensure that demands are being met."
"We believe that with more associations as members and wider geographic spread, the greater our strength and effectiveness will be."
In the meantime, expats are expectantly waiting for the outcome of Gordon Brown’s meeting with José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero this week.