There is, in fact, NOTHING that we can do...

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09 Mar 2012 00:00 by Suzie Star rating in England. 121 posts Send private message

Having spent a great deal of time, effort & money working on the Spanish Property Scandal Petition I've received a letter from Brussels confirming the above.  Despite years of lobbying MPs, meeting numerous MEPs, travelling to Brussels etc  nothing has changed for the better.  I hope the Petitions Committee in Brussels stop accepting like petitions, and tell petitioners exactly how things stand.  Otherwise it's just years of false hope with the EU in addition to the endless battle for justice in Spain.  I feel nothing but anger & disgust at the whole sorry saga & see no end to it.

Listen to Roger Helmer who honestly tells the situation as it really is:


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09 Mar 2012 15:56 by maddiemack Star rating in Grantham, Lincolnshi.... 194 posts Send private message

Well done, Roger Helmer for 'telling it like it is'.  At last, someone has admitted that, however hard we try and however many Eurpoean MPs lobby for us in an attempt to get Spain to honour the laws put in place to ensure that buyers of Spanish property can do so in the knowledge that the law is on their side should things go wrong with their purchase through no fault of their own...... NOTHING WILL BE DONE TO HELP THEM.  We are left with lawyers like Maria to help us and, understandably, with a fee involved that we should not have had to pay.

There is absolutely no way on God's earth that we will ever be buying that property in Spain we promised ourselves for our retirement next year....


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09 Mar 2012 16:36 by EOS Team Star rating in In Spain of course!. 4017 posts Send private message

EOS Team´s avatar

 Yes, this is all very sad and terribly frustrating.

Suzie, is there any hope for the petition at all now?  Please don't say it really has all been in vain.



Schools in Spain Guide | The Expat Files | Learn Spanish | Earn a living in Spain

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09 Mar 2012 19:31 by ads Star rating. 3304 posts Send private message


We too in our correspondence have hit a brick wall in terms of recognition by the European Parliament and Commission under the suggestion that petitioners use the "competent" system of justice in the member state. So what happens when the system of justice is incompetent?

Only when the Spanish Government and all those associated with the real estate industry in Spain wake up to the impact that lack of justice is having on consumer confidence, will things improve.

We should all (Spanish lawyers included) be lobbying hard for a fast track approach to justice to clear the backlog of legal cases. Until such time as monies are rightfully returned to innocent offplan purchasers according to exisitng law, and retrospective action in all its various forms is accompanied by a fair compensation structure in Spain, then the message sadly has to remain loud and strong BUYER BEWARE IN SPAIN.


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10 Mar 2012 01:09 by DonLochnagar Star rating in Mazarron. 161 posts Send private message

** EDITED - Against forum rules **

This message was last edited by EOS Team on 10/03/2012.

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10 Mar 2012 19:14 by Suzie Star rating in England. 121 posts Send private message

Justin - It's a double-edged sword.  At times it seems like it has all been in vain, but in reality it hasn't if you think of all the information that has been gathered & presented to the British Government, the Spanish Government, countless MEPs - even the King of Spain received a copy of this hefty dossier.  The undeniable duplicity between agent, developer & lawyer (all named in the petition) has been highlighted over & over again by  more than 1,000 petitioners, in full detail. This is in addition to all the other petitions that have been compiled.   Their testimony is comprehensive;  facts & figures which won't be going away but continued to be ignored by all who have the power to take action.


This message was last edited by Suzie on 10/03/2012.

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17 Mar 2012 11:27 by Suzie Star rating in England. 121 posts Send private message

Courts Reject Priors Claim For Compensation...

'An administrative court in Almeria has rejected Helen and Len Priors claim for compensation against Vera council for the demolition of their home in 2008 as ‘premature’.

The judgement was made on the basis that a definitive decision has not been made regarding the legality of the building licence issued to construct the property due to the existence of an ongoing appeal in the High Courts of Justice of Andalucía (TSJA).
The guilt or innocence of Helen and Len Prior is not the subject of debate in the courts. They are the victims of a planning dispute between the regional and local governments in Andalucía and they continue to live in their former garage whilst seeking damages for the loss of their home.

"Helen and Len are absolutely gutted by this latest setback" said a spokesperson for AUAN, an association of homeowners who support the Priors fight for justice.

"There is no sense or natural justice in the way this couple are being treated. This case is a disgraceful example of how the little people are being crushed by the inadequate, highly politicised and poorly implement planning laws of Andalucía. It sends a very bad message to anyone considering investing here." '  AUAN Press Release

If you want to hear the history of the case listen to Helen Prior addressing the EU Petitions Committee last year:



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17 Mar 2012 19:40 by ads Star rating. 3304 posts Send private message

This is tragic Suzie.... do you have more detailed information about the appeal, i.e.when was it submitted?

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18 Mar 2012 21:03 by acer Star rating. 1160 posts Send private message

These cases are truly outrageous - I have no political leanings but I'm appalled by the lack of any meaningful help from the UK government.  Both Labour and Tory/Lib Dems have been pathetic, you've got to wonder if they're scared about upsetting the Spanish govt in case they get more prickly over Gibraltar, or just lack b*lls. At least UKIP says it as it is - they may get my vote come the next election.

It's a pity that Brits aren't unionised - a day of strike to register our protest might otherwise be useful.  I feel so sorry for the Priors, there but for fortune...

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18 Mar 2012 21:27 by Suzie Star rating in England. 121 posts Send private message

ads - I don't know when the Appeal was submitted but the Priors have been living in their garage for over four years now.  They have no mains water or electricity.  You have to admire their determination.  They've previously said that if they returned to the U.K. they believe this would make it easier for the Spanish authorities to ignore & eventually forget them.  The continuing argument in the Spanish courts as to whether their house was legal or illegal in fact mirrors the problems many of us face in the courts.  Two separate buyers in the same development can go to the same court with their virtual identical cases but have two opposing Rulings from two different Judges.   Until these 'Competent Authorities' can get their acts together and sing from the same song sheet we shall all continue to be in limbo.

acer - I totally agree with you.  My numerous letters & 'phone calls re the Petition to Nick Clegg's office have never been answered or acknowledged.  As his wife is not only Spanish but also a Spanish lawyer I think he is last person in government who would want to show any kind of help or support to us.


This message was last edited by Suzie on 18/03/2012.

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18 Mar 2012 21:53 by Suzie Star rating in England. 121 posts Send private message

Just to add that Roger Helmer tendered his resignation as an MEP at the end of last year. So we've lost his strong stand for us within the Petitions Committee.  He has left the conservatives to join UKIP.

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22 Mar 2012 16:24 by Keith110 Star rating in the UK and I am lead.... 686 posts Send private message



By Per Svensson - European Citizens Weekly Report - 23 March 2012


It sounds like a story by Kafka, but is reality:


The British couple Helen and Len Prior invested their lifetime savings building a house, in the municipality of Vera, Province of Almeria, Region Andalusia, in sunny Spain. After furnishing and moving in they were told that the building license the constructor had obtained from the town hall had never been recognised by the Junta de Andalusia (the regional government) and should never have been issued. 


The Priors protested, but to no avail: One day in 2008 a town hall demolition crew appeared on their door step, giving them just time to move the furniture into the garage, before ripping their home apart. The Priors have since been living in the garage, fighting and waiting for justice.


They were, as we all are, recommended to take the Administration’s brutal act to the courts. Last week the Almeria Administrative Court passed the sentence that the town hall had no responsibility for the house which was torn down, and said that the Prior’s claim for compensation was ‘premature’ because of an ongoing appeal in the Regional Supreme Court.


The town hall is elated, and is now considering demanding that the Priors repay the money for the house rental they paid them since demolishing their home.


Justice delayed….


Helen and Len are now in the fourth year of their personal nightmare. How many more years will pass before a human solution is found?


We remember well the saying that ’Justice delayed is justice denied.’


The Priors should not have had to go to court at all, in this case of blatant mal-administration. The regional government should have reckognized the injustice and paid compensation at once.


Spain’s reputation abroad as a safe country in which to invest is already in tatters. The Prior case illustrates the disorganisation between the various levels of the Administration, the lack of respect for private homes and foreign property buyers, and the haphazardness of the legal system.


Buying a home in Spain?

It may be premature to do so, until
has pulled up their socks, starting by giving a proper answer to the European Parliament Auken report, which is supported by an overwhelming majority but which so far has been ignored by the Spanish politicians.


LEY 57/1968


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