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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

European lobbies

The policy of the Valencia government in the urbanistic field has been severely condemned by the European parliament and the European Commission has given the government 3 weeks to clean up certain aspects of its laws (2 weeks remaining of the deadline).

It is natural that politicians taken to task try to defend themselves. Spokesman of the Consell Valenciana, and leading member of the government, Esteban Gonzalez Pons, has been doing so. He has recently declared that there are European lobbies behind the decision of the European Parliament, "interested in that the the investments coming to the Valencia region shall go to other parts of the Mediterranean." He is pointing an accusing finger at Italy and the Balcans.

So now we know. The thousands of victims and upright people that have joined in the protest
to the European parliament are just pretending to be victims. In reality they are moles placed in Spain by the lobbies of Italy and the Balcans.

The members of the investigating delegation, of the commission of petitions (unanimously supporting the report), the 511 members of the European Parliament endorsing the condemnation and of course the European Commission, they are all representing "economical interests" in Italy and the Balcans......

Leading Spanish writer Antonio Gala commented recently in a leading daily paper on the urbanistic situation in Valencia, referring to the "wall of urbanisations and cement" erected along the coast, creating a fortification against the pirates of the Mediterranean "that today are on the shores". He ends lamenting the lack in the region of "governors with heads and prevision of the future".

No one can say it better than Gala.

Friday, December 16, 2005

The count down

The plenary meeting of the European Parliament has with 550 votes in favor, 45 against and 25 abstentions condemned the urbanistic policy of the Valensia government and demanded compensation for the victims of the LRAU-law as well as an immediate moratorium on all new urbanisation plans pending approval, based on that law, until new, correct legislation has been approved.

This is strong, but necessary medicine. It is obvious that the Euro-deputies are tired of all excuses and manoeuvres and manipulations by the responsibles for the urbanistic policy of the Valensia government.

The European Commission has followed up, giving the regional government 3 weeks to adopt the proposed new law (LUV) to European legislation. That refers specifically to the contract procedure. If the changes are not introduced within the short time limit given, the Commission will take Spain before the Court of Justice. This is even stronger medicine.

The count down is running.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

From 5 to 15

The weather on Costa Blanca is the best you can find in Europe - from the point of view of a tourist. Today we have 15 degrees, sunshine, but with a bit chilly wind. On the European continent, hardly better anywhere.

However, during the night we were down to 5 degrees. The ones sitting in Northern Europe will say: That is nothing and they will tell how many degrees below zero they had last night.

I know, but the problem is that the Spanish dwellings are not built for cold nights, so that even with the heater on, one has to put a warm plaid over the knees not to freeze behind the thin exterior walls.

But has not new legislation been introduced when it comes to thermal insulation of dwellings? That is true, but it is also true that new dwellings are just as cold as the old ones. It seems that always a short cut is found to avoid improving the quality of construction.

What is the solution? It could be building yourself, or staying over the winter in the Carribean or on the coast of Brazil, where spanish investors are now going to construct hotels and dwellings.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Bubble that burst

For some time, Spanish newspapers have been filled with the good news that the British government wanted to give retired fiscal incentives to buy dwellings, also abroad. The promoters had calculated how many sales of houses to Brits this would mean for Spain. One of the calculations was that only on the Costa Blanca would be sold 30.000 additional dwellings.

Now the bubble has burst, as so many other bubbles tend to do. The British government has scrapped the proposal, and gloom is spreading among promoters and sales agents.

Now, the property sector has to go the hard way, with their own efforts convince the buyers from Great Britan and other countries that Spain is still a good place to buy a first or a second home.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Fiestas and puentes

There are two Fiesta-days during this week. On Tuesday we celebrated the Spanish Constitution. Tomorrow, Thursday, it is La Inmaculada (Immaculate conception). That leaves us with 3 working days.

As a result of this Gruyere cheese of a working week, most of Spain will make a "puente" out of it. "Puente" means bridge, and in this connection taking a continous holiday from last Friday to coming Monday. Be prepared that many offices are closed, and many people on travel.

As the Spanish are taking over more and more the protestant Christmas celebration (With Santa Claus and corresponding holidays), in addition to their traditional new year fiesta and "los Reyes" (Holy Three Kings), the number of serious working days from the beginning of December to the middle of January is considerably reduced.