Spanish councils keep the community spirit alive by organising all sorts of events during
the year; tourists get to share in the fun by chance really but after seeing one fiesta band too many I now avoid watching the old people dancing the pasa doble.
Unfortunately it’s all akin to Nero fiddling whilst Rome burnt as councils and regions owe around 100€bn to banks and central Government and still resist spending cuts, yes that’s right 100,000,000,000.00€.
Yet the fireworks still explode, crappy bands are still booked and follies like the car park under the ancient centre of Mojacar Pueblo are built; no doubt to earn a politician or two a back hander. Productivity targets are obviously a no-no in bureaucratic Spain with inefficiency and laziness stifling the economy and restricting growth.
Cuevas de Almanzora Town Council recently spent 750,000€ via an EU grant building a cycle path to connect the town to the sea. The plans were rejected by the Junta de Andalucia as not being of good enough quality yet the work still went ahead with the Mayors friend getting the work. At the time locals as well denounced the work as shoddy warning that the first autumn rains would wash the badly constructed path away. Guess what? Yes the path was washed away two weeks ago. At least the Mayors friend earned a good bit and hopefully paid officials a bit for their part in awarding him the work.
The property sector where I try to earn a living should be encouraged as people want to buy and refurbish properties. Every foreigner living here spends money each week so supporting the local economy. Try however to get a planning application for an extension or pool approved and it would be easier to turn lead into gold. Clients who bought properties via Findmeahome are 12 months later still waiting for reform licences. Council computers lazily say no; so stopping people from spending money with builders, architects and suppliers!
One official in Zurgena took 3 weeks in July not to answer a simple question from our lawyers in July and then took the whole of August off without nominating a deputy. Finally on her first day back to work she miraculously took ill and signed off on long term leave. When an architect of ours contacted Vera council to ask why a planning application still had not been processed after a year they were told curtly ‘we are very busy.’ It later turned out the application had been lost. No doubt they could not remember which table leg they had put in under to right the wobble.
The Junta de Andalucía is no better; spending huge amounts on court cases they will never win. Planning applications and first occupation licences which were issued legally by local councils are being contested in local courts, 99% of the time the Junta loses so appeal with the cases going to Almeria City where 99% of the appeals are rejected again. So the Junta appeals again at the Supreme Court in Granada which is so busy that cases can take 3 years or more to be heard only to be thrown out again no doubt.
Home owners across the region are oblivious to all this legal wrangling as the Junta takes action against the councils, builders and developers and the owner will only ever find out if a potential buyer’s lawyer digs deep enough whilst doing the searches. Findmeahome concentrate mainly on selling older cortijo style properties but still sales are cancelled at the last minute normally due to us finding out that a court action has been rumbling through the courts for many years without resolution.
Notwithstanding the enormous heart break this causes owners when sales collapse; what about the huge sums spent by the authorities on legal fees, money better spent on education, health and repairing the roads. Oh and fireworks!