HOME OWNERS TO STOP PAYING MORTGAGES

The more than 200,000 owners whose homes in the Valencia region are in danger of being demolished under the Coasts Law have said they are going to stop keeping up their mortgage payments and will send all their money to foreign banks if the government in Madrid does not do something to help them. The president of the National Platform for People affected by the Coasts Law (Pnalc), Carmen del Amo said it made no sense to carry on paying for a house that is going to be demolished. She said Spanish banks, many of which are currently suffering a liquidity crisis, will be badly hit if the Platform’s members carry out their threat. Some 85% of those affected are Spanish, while the remaining 15% are British or German. The Coasts Law was passed in 1988 to stop construction close to beaches which was destroying the country’s coastlines. However, very little effort was made to enforce it until last year, when Environment Minister Cristina Narbona began what the members of the Platform call her “crusade” against them. Last July, the Platform took the case to the European Parliament’s Petitions Commission which has called for an investigation. The law affects not only private homes but hotels, restaurants and a variety of businesses.

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