UN Highlights Spanish Property Crisis
Staff Reporter / 2006-12-04 14:52:26
A special report investigating housing says by the United Nations says "rampant real estate speculation" in Spain is "unsustainable."
Miloon Kothari has called for urgent government attention to resolve problems he described as, "the most serious in Europe."
As much as 25% of the population cannot afford to buy homes and increasing interest rates are crippling householders who are paying 50-60% of their income on mortgages or rent.
On Friday he commented on the changes to the Land Law, which has instead of lowering prices by encouraging development, led to corruption in local government, proved attractive to organised crime and provoked environmental disasters along the Mediterranean coast. Criticism was harsh though of the "complete lack of understanding between the central government and the various autonomies, which leads to a considerable conflict of interest." He also called for an end to tax breaks for property buyers which, "amount to subsidising real estate developers with public money."
When asked about corruption at his press conference, Kothari expressed the view that Marbella "is merely the tip of the iceberg" and that the "actual situation is much worse."
Kothari will publish his final report on housing in Spain in about three months, which will be presented both to the Spanish Government and the United Nations.