Marta Andreasen MEP has claimed Spain's secretary for housing 'is in denial' regarding the severity of the problems affecting British expats who have invested in Spanish property, following a heated exchange at an international property exhibition in London.
The argument took place following a speech delivered last week by the Spanish housing secretary Beatriz Corredor, who called for Britons to trust in Spain and to take advantage of its ripe property market.
UKIP's Marta Andreasen MEP
said: "I was quite upset that she refused to accept or mention the fact that were serious problems affecting Brits in Spain.
"She referred to new reforms that had supposedly made Spain a safe country in which to buy, but these reforms neither resolve the past nor the present problems.
"The British are among the highest proportion of foreign property purchasers, but the bad reputation Spain has earned itself has seen the level of interest in Spanish property plummet. This so-called ‘property roadshow’ was to address that with the aim of portraying that everything is fixed and the Brits can start spending their money again. How wrong this is.
"Regional governments pick fights with local governments, mayors and politicans take bribes, then get prosecuted for corruption – it really is difficult for any British person to trust anyone throughout the home buying process.
(Telegraph ProperThe minister made out that there were just one or two people with problems and that these were getting sorted out."
A decree to legalise existing illegal properties combined with a reduction in new home tax and falling house prices made Spain the ideal place in which to invest, said the minister during her address to an audience of developers, investors and protesting British investors who gathered at London's Docklands.
No mention was made of the many thousands of expats who have bought in good faith only to be told their houses are illegally built and therefore unsellable, and excluded from local water and electricity supplies.
It was the second time this year that the secretary had addressed a British audience of potential investors and explained why Spanish property is such a good investment.
The discussion between the pair was brought to a close by the Spanish Ambassador, Carles Casajuana, who led the Spanish housing secretary away after Marta Andreasen refused to shake her hand.
"I spoke in Spanish and in English so that people around would understand," said Ms Andreasen. "Afterwards I was approached by developers who said they too had been affected by the Spanish government's refusal to sort out the problem, and didn't expect to sales to pick up until the current problems had been solved."
The MEP has long campaigned on behalf of Brits caughts up in Spain's planning and property scandals. She is currently urging the EU to stop funding Spanish regions until they resolve these problemsSource: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/expatproperty/8834093/Spains-housing-secretary-in-denial-about-expat-property-problems.html