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17/10/2011 - Minister for Europe pledges support for British Victims



MINISTER FOR Europe David Lidington has pledged his support in seeking solutions to Spanish property abuses after meeting a deputation of British victims.

The talks were held at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London and it was an opportunity for the politician to learn first hand of the problems, frustrations and anguish suffered by some British purchasers.  

Central to the one-off meeting with Mr Lidington was the controversial Spanish property road show – starting its second phase in the UK – and the failure to honour legally required bank guarantees for off-plan property purchasers.

And meeting the Minister to demand action was Keith Rule, organiser of the Bank Guarantee in Spain Petition, Ruth Genda, responsible for the ‘Stop the Spanish Roadshow Petition’, together with Mike Kerr and Kafo Genda.

The on-line petitions were signed by thousands of people and outlined the anger and frustration of the victims.

Mr Lidington emphasised the Government was concerned about the impact problems were having on British citizens and said Ministers and the Ambassador would continue to raise property issues with Spain’s government.
He stressed the best advice he could give prospective purchasers was that they should do their research and seek appropriate legal advice.

PREVENT

But the minister underlined that the Government could not prevent Spain from encouraging investment in its property market.

Mr Lidington said: “I advise anyone considering buying a property abroad to do your research, learn about what documentation you must have in hand, and make sure you seek independent legal advice from a lawyer who is experienced in property law.”

Afterwards Ruth Genda commented: “The Minister and his team seemed genuinely surprised when Keith brandished the dossier of evidence gathered on behalf of the Finca Parcs Action Group.  This dossier was shown to the Minister as an example of the terrible situation that can occur when both the developer and the bank fail to act in accordance with Spanish law relating to bank guarantees for off-plan purchases.”

The minister was given a 200-page file containing hard evidence of the failure of banks and institutions, along with the Spanish government and the European Parliament.

Ruth added: “These are necessary pieces of evidence to help the Minister see through the smoke-and-mirrors fabrications of the Spanish government and enable him to get at the truth and reality of these dreadful situations in which we find ourselves”.

DOSSIER

“If he and his team are not able to help us after reading through this dossier then we know exactly where we stand.”

Keith Rule’s action group was formed by 64 buyers of homes on the Finca Parcs development near Hellin, Spain, and is made up of 64 buyers who paid deposits but were never issued with legally required guarantees – the project was abandoned with only 36 of 617 houses completed.

After meeting Mr Lidington, Keith said: “It was a positive step forward and we now have some valuable contacts within the foreign Office, the Overseas Property Office in London and the British Embassy in Madrid.
Mr Lidington seemed keen to assist us in his role as Minister for Europe and only time will tell if he is able to deliver on his promises.”

Undertakings given by the Minister included raising the issue of bank guarantees with the Spanish government at every opportunity and the possibility of organising a meeting between the Bank Guarantees Action Group and the Bank of Spain.

He also promised he would advise UK MEPs to create a formal cross-party working group to examine property issues in Spain, and said he would talk with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg who might be able to assist through his personal knowledge and experience of Spain.

Additional Information: Bank Guarantees in Spain Petition - www.bankguaranteesinspain.com

Source Round Town News.
Written by Jack Troughton