More than 3,000 people are being kicked out of their homes in a Spanish town much-loved by Brits.
The Spanish government has finalised its largest collective eviction, seizing homes along the coast in portside city Dénia, in the province of Alicante and situated roughly halfway between the cities of Alicante and Valencia.
Homeowners are appealing to the Supreme Court against the “theft” and “spoilation” of their properties by the General Directorate of Coasts.
The mass eviction will see more than 3,000 people lose their homes and buildings, which will be converted by the government into public land or used as concessions.
There are other towns on the Costa Blanca affected, with 1,700 homes in 10km impacted.
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It is believed the land will be used as a reserve strip for the sea due to coastal erosion damaging houses.
More than 50 campaign groups have joined forces to protest the evictions, saying in a statement: “Our objective is the defence of our beaches and the rights of citizens against the unjustified and perverse harassment that we are suffering from the state.
“All the residents of Denia are very concerned since the demarcation means, in many cases, the loss of ownership of our homes, legally constituted and built over more than 100 years.”
Some locals blame the exploitation of the area by private companies for the coastal erosion, pointing to cement companies taking sand and pebbles from the beaches as well as the construction and expansion of ports.
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The Platform of Those Affected by the Coastal Law in Dénia have also denounced the government of Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez, saying: “The General Directorate of Coasts acts more like an organized group of shellers, exchanging the ownership of legitimate homes for concessions. That is, stripping their legitimate owners of their ownership.”
The spokesperson for the platform, Pedro Pastor, said the homes are not considered a “wealth” for the coast.
Many of the buildings are already a century old, some being old fishermen’s houses that have been passed through generations.
The general director of Coasts of the Generalitat Valenciana, Vicente Martínez Mus, has promised to fight against the procedure.
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