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Dear British citizens of Cantoria

Vie, 26/10/2018 - 17:57
By Puri Sánchez, Mayor of Cantoria

I have the need to address the colony of those who have settled in the Almanzora Valley, and especially in the town of Cantoria coming mainly from the United Kingdom, Germany or any other country. I am addressing those who for years have struggled to legalise the homes that they bought believing they were perfectly legal but that lacked any kind of permit or license. They were misled by mayors who at the same time were builders, by legal advisers who at the same time worked for those same builders and who without any scruples led them to a dramatic situation, fearing even the loss of their properties as happened in some unfortunate isolated case. In Cantoria they also built and bought illegal houses and for that reason the mayor of those years, Mr. Llamas García and most of his government team was condemned by the Spanish justice system to long periods of disqualification from holding public office. Some mistake precisely the fact that by continuing to preside over or represent a political party in the shadow, those people have already served their sentences or have been exculpated, but that is not the case. They are convicted and serving their sentences but not in prison.

Today seventeen demolitions have been saved in Cantoria and we will not stop until everyone is sure that they will not lose their homes, but it is also important that they do stay calm, it is very important not to be fooled.

I feel real terror when I see these days the representatives of AUAN, the association that years ago led the fight for the legalisation of housing, asking forgiveness from their community towards these people, understanding towards the party that represents them and transferring to all the certainty that these people have changed. But that is not the case. They have turned AUAN into the British PP association, but they forget that it was PP mayors who gave both Cantoria and Albox the licenses for the illegal houses. Its president Maura Hillen knows this, she is aware of it, and yet she wants to lead the part of the colony she controls to associate, precisely now, with the political party that is losing the most votes and credibility in Spain.

If the colony of citizens of the United Kingdom of Cantoria now allies, for the personal interest of one or two people, whom led them to have those problems, they will be questioning their own credibility as a collective.

For years we have struggled, all of us, to find a solution as soon as possible, so that the new foreign-speaking neighbours would have the security that their homes would not end up being trampled on by bulldozers under the protection of an injunction. We have changed laws, we have articulated new ones, and we have provided our city councils with bilingual staff that will allow us to come even closer and be able to form the community that we are today. A community in which we do not care what happens after Brexit, because for us they are already our neighbours and we will defend them as such. And because I want to defend them against a new deception, I warn them of the enormous mistake that would mean trusting again those who led them to have houses that for years have been illegal.



To defend them, our new neighbours, I ask you to remember the messages that years ago were conveyed to you by those who are now asking for forgiveness from those who simply swindled you, deceived you and convinced you that your homes were perfectly legal when they were not, but who could not trust the mayor of a village in a civilised country and of the EU? Who would have thought that a legal adviser was playing the game from the opposite side? What has happened to defend the positions of a Labour party today and the conservative party tomorrow?

To my neighbours of Cantoria, whatever language you speak, I only ask you not to be fooled, because the wolf will always be a wolf and overnight nobody will domesticate it. I invite you to create new organisations, collectives or groups that will send us each and every one of your demands, but that they do so for their own interests and not for the interests of those who, having solved the crisis of illegal housing, try to find other problems with which to justify their existence.

Puri Sánchez, Mayor of Cantoria


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