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European Union condemns Spain over 'disastrous' over-building

From, 22 June 2007

BRUSSELS – The European Parliament condemned Spain for the environmental damage which over-development had caused in Madrid and along the Mediterranean coast.

In a motion, it said the mix of lax building laws, greedy developers and corrupt politicians had had a ‘disastrous effect’ on the country’s environment.

The Spanish daily El Pais reported on Friday the EU said: “The massive urbanisation projects do not respond to real needs. They have had disastrous environmental, historical and cultural effects.”

The motion, passed by 327 in favour and 222 against, with 35 absentions, came after EU parliamentarians visited Madrid, Valencia and Almeria to probe complaints of over-development.

It is the second time Spain has been condemned by the EU – the last occasion was over the so-called ‘land grab’ law in Valencia.

Fifteen thousand residents, many EU citizens, signed a petition complaining about the law.

Next week Spain has to appear before the European Court to answer charges relating to the land grab law. If found guilty it could face massive fines.

The land-grab allows developers to seize land which has been re-classified from rural to urban.

The Valencia regional government is to defend its position in Luxembourg by claiming the law has been modified.

[Copyright Expatica]