Thursday, 22 July 2010

European update

Dear ,

Further to your previous email I have spoken to our Petitions Spokesman Giles Chichester MEP and he has given me an update on the current situation:

1. We had a very successful hearing a few months ago in the Petitions Committee when several petitioners of all nationalities presented their case. The Spanish government was there too. What was really significant was that unlike previous occasions when the Spanish MEPs were very reluctant to admit that anything was wrong, they were for the most part much more sympathetic to the plight of the property owners. There seems to be a real breakthrough.

2. There is now considerable pressure from some member states, eg UK and Germany , to reopen the issue to put further pressure on the Spanish Government. It is very likely that there will be another report to follow up on the Auken report from the last parliament. This time, I understand that as long as the issue focuses on the questions of the law's erratic application, unfair compensation terms and retroactive nature, the Spanish MEPs are likely to be more cooperative. They know that the issue is of some embarrassment to their country, and that many of those badly affected are Spanish.

3. The next meeting of PETI is at the end of September. We will be pressing for an immediate decision to go ahead, to visit some of the worst affected places and to start a report.

I can assure you that we will do everything in our power to put an end to the Spanish property disaster. In the end it has got to be the Member State , i.e. Spain , that sort out the problem but we will exert all possible pressure on them to do so.

Kind regards,

Timothy Kirkhope MEP

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