British and other overseas expats who have lost their Spanish homes to a notorious and ridiculous ‘land grab’ law now have some hope in retrieving their properties. The European commission has now taken Madrid to the European Court of Justice over alleged infringements of European competition regulations governing the public works contracts in Spain.
The law allowed Spain’s developers to expropriate rural land from property owners if the developers’ could persuade local authorities that the rural land acquired were suitable for “urban development”.
The worst case scenarios happened in the autonomous region of Valencia were confiscated land and demolished homes ruined people’s lives. To make matters worse, many of the people affected were actually foreign retirees with no means of earning any income.
The disputable law was introduced in Spain in the 1990’s at the start of a massive housing boom.
This has clearly got to change, since many expats have lost their lifelong savings and the roof over their head when they were forced to sell for much less than the actual value of their property.
Since Spain is part of the EU, they cannot avoid a court case, even though it is the Valencian law that is disputed in this case.
Meanwhile, all eyes will be on the commission and the outcome of this whole spectacle.
Stay tunned as we continue to follow this case closely.
photo credits – drobnikm via flickr