Those affected express their surprise that the government is trying to act against the environment and the right to adequate housing

Faced with the news that the acting national government is questioning the Andalusian Decree to regularise houses and the possibility that they will challenge it before the Constitutional Court, those affected declare their consternation, and do not understand how the acting government of Spain can behave in this way.

Maura Hillen, president of Abusos Urbanísticos Andalucía No (AUAN) states: “ The European Union has announced possible actions against Spain for its inadequate treatment of sewage from houses, and here in Andalusia there are hundreds of thousands of irregular houses without adequate sanitation.

For example, it is known that in Chiclana thousands of people have been in this position for years, without any action from the national government to resolve this problem. It is the same in Carmona, and I could mention many more areas where this is happening. For this reason, the regional government of Andalusia developed Decree 3/2019 containing urgent measures for the environmental adaptation of irregular houses in Andalusia.

This Decree was preceded by other measures promoted by the PSOE with the support of Izquierda Unida in some cases. This decree has been very well received by society in Andalusia and now we see with horror how the acting national government is trying to overthrow this much wanted measure. We do not understand and we hope the it is a misunderstanding”.

Mrs Hillen added, “What is not acceptable is that people continue to bathe in water contaminated with faecal matter as happens in many places. Not only is this a third world situation, but it runs the risk that some day there could be a disgraceful epidemic, and questions will be asked about who is at fault”.

For his part, Gerardo Vázquez, legal advisor to AUAN and spokesperson for the National Coordinating Committee for Justice in Planning says “it would be terrible if the Spanish government attempts to impugn the Decree in the Constitutional Court, as appears to be the case.

It is not only an environmental issue; we are talking about the most basic rights of people, the right to a home, to a residence and to a house; and this are real issues, not paper theories. It is not only the environment; it is people’s lives. I am sick and tired that people are dying without solutions.  I do not understand the attitude of the government.   Last week yet another of those affected, someone known to me, died without being able to obtain paperwork for their house.

And I have been contacted by another poor lady whose house has been demolished, after cutting off the electricity to her house whilst she was on dialysis in the house, and this lady has nowhere adequate left to live. Please, we need to be sensible and work together to resolve these issues urgently”.

Sr. Vázquez finished by saying “the regularisation decree was approved with the votes in favour of all parties, including the PSOE, with the exception of Adelante Andalucia whom I believe would have abstained if the regulation was approved another way, and now the acting central government impugns his Decree.

I believe that it is a misunderstanding. We ask for the help of all political parties to make the government see how terrible it would be to annul the Regularisation Decree. I trust that they will throw a lifeline to those affected and that the government reconsiders”