• UKIP MEP Marta Andreasen today held Spanish President Jose Luis Zapatero to account over the scandal of British citizens who found their Spanish holiday homes demolished because of alleged breaches of planning law.
Mr Zapatero, who was assuming the Presidency of the European Union, looked shocked as Ms Andreasen named four constituents who faced financial ruin as a result of the ongoing scandal: Mr & Mrs Prior and Ms Snook of Berkshire, and Mr Lohmann of Buckingham. The Priors house had been demolished in front of their eyes because of alleged breaches of planning law, while Ms Snook and Mr Lohmann could not live in their houses because of a lack of basic services and infrastructure.
"Ms Andreasen said that these were normal, hard working people who had intended to retire to Spain and yet had found their dreams shattered and were faced with years of legal costs simply to defend their rights.
Speaking in the European Parliament's Strasbourg chamber, she said, "If you can not solve this problem, how much credibility can you have in solving Europe's financial crisis?
We want a solution now. We want the people to be able to live in the houses they bought. If this is not possible, they need to be granted fair compensation. This parliament has only threatened to block payment of subsidies to Spain. But I can assure you that if this situation is not resolved during the Spanish presidency, I will do everything I can to turn this threat into action."
In response, Mr Zapatero said that he would investigate the problem as a matter of urgency.
Ms Andreasen said she was seeking other constituents who had suffered similar problems in Spain, and asked them to contact her via her office: Sunnybank, Brighton Road, Banstead, Surrey SN7 1BA, or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org