The Ministry of the Environment and Azata, the promotors of the infamous El Algarrobico hotel in Carboneras (the one built illegally on the beach? Occupied by Greenpeace?) have announced that they have come to an agreement where the Ministry buys the hotel and surrounding installations for, wait for it! – 100 000 000€. One hundred million euros. For building an illegal eyesore on a beach and in a natural park.
“Informed Sources” have already leaked the news that the ministry is expecting this price to triple by the time the hotel has come down and the surrounding area restored to it’s previous glory. That is, as Salvemos Mojacar pointed out, about €10-€12 for every family in Spain.
Salvemos Mojacar, the local pressure group, has already announced its intention to appeal in the courts against this decision, restating its position that the hotel is illegal and should be expropiated without any costs being paid to the promotor.
The Ministry of the Environment, which has not yet officially commented on the decision, seems determined to take the iniciative in the matter, and wants an end to the whole sorry saga. Hence the decision to have the whole project surveyed and the payment of the market cost.
The promotor (Azata) has restated that while they would prefer to finish off the hotel, thus helping stimulate the local economy, the price covers their construction costs and they are willing to accept it. (Probably over the bloody moon). They also restated their position that when the hotel was planned and permission sought, the hotel was legal and it was only after a change in the law that the land the hotel was on was protected, so they have been penalised unfairly. However, almost all of the judicial decisions taken so far contradict this position, and say that construction should never have been allowed to go ahead.
The Junta de Andalucia says it is still awaiting the outcome of the trials in progress and refused to comment on the situation. The Conserjera in charge of the case, one Cinta Castilla, “apparantly trying to avoid the situation” (according to one paper) said she had never been invited to any meeting between Azata and the Ministry. Both of them, however, have complained that Cinta never turned up to any meeting, despite being asked to.
The opposition PP in the Junta said that this position was incomprehensible since President of Andalucia Miguel Chaves had publically stated that the hotel was illegal and would never be opened – so how can the Junta now say they have no power over the final decision?