Spain reclaims its beaches

The World

Bulldozers are tearing down a small restaurant that’s literally on the water’s edge. This is the case for many such buildings on the coastline. Since Roman times, the beaches have been public domain, but this man of Spain’s Environment Ministry says people have built on them anyway, especially in the mid-20th century. He says back then we didn’t know much about protecting coastal environments. In 1988, Spain passed a tough law against coastal constructions. Among other things the law expanded the protected zone for building but the law was largely ignored until the Socialists came to power in 2004. now the government is telling thousands of house owners that their houses are against the law, and they’ll let residents stay on for 60 years, or the government will buy them or tear them down. After 60 years, the houses will belong to Spain. This 59 year old British man is one of millions who moved to Spain upon retiring and are now banding together to fight the coastal crackdown. This man says corruption in Spain runs so deep that even with all your papers in order you can still lose your home. Spain’s housing market has been hit by several big scandals in recent years. this man says because of all these factors, housing sales in these areas are down. But hotel and even parking lot owners along the coast are all feeling the heat of the government crackdown and environmentalists say it’s about time.

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