Murcia: The Brick Rules
Following Spain’s entry into the European Union in 1986, the construction sector became one of the driving engines behind the Spanish economy. The construction boom was fueled not only by local economic interests, but also by the growth of a second residence market that has turned Spain into a second home paradise for many Northern Europeans. Most ironically, the construction hysteria took place amidst a serious housing crisis that still affects large segments of the Spanish population, particularly its youth.
|During the construction boom of the past seven years, municipal councils vied with each other to attract the biggest real estate projects, marinas and golf resorts. In some coastal areas, new property owners have sometimes taken possession of their new homes, only to find there is no running water – and no obligation on the part of municipal authorities to provide it – because their homes were built without water board permits.|
Greenpeace Spain has denounced the swath of holiday homes (an estimated 35 per cent of residences on the Mediterranean coastline are holiday homes), hotels and golf courses which spread across popular coasts, claiming they are rapidly destroying ecosystems the country relies on for tourism and fishing.
The construction madness has left a profound mark on Murcia Region, in the southeast of Spain. False expectations created around real estate speculation have cause much of Murcia’s territory to be put up for sale and have placed a dozen municipalities in the dock, under corruption charges. Perhaps, the worst part of this illusion is the damage that has been done to emblematic places of historical and environmental importance, such as the lands dedicated to traditional crops known as “Huerta”.