Much foreign buying in Mallorca is at the luxury end of the market. | Archive

The Proinba developers association has registered a report by law firm Uría Menéndez with the Balearic parliament regarding the proposal to restrict non-resident home buying in the Balearics. This states that such a proposal is contrary to articles of the European Union Treaty and is not covered by Spain's act of accession to the EU. "The measure would most likely be considered indirectly discriminatory as it is likely to benefit Spanish citizens and harm citizens of other member states."

In a covering letter with the report, the developers request that it is shared with all parties in parliament (which is again debating housing issues this week) while asking that they are able to participate in an "open and serious" debate. In its view, the association believes that possible prohibition is being addressed in a "shallow" manner.

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It is a measure, the report insists, which would not satisfy the 'proportionality test' required by European regulations. For it to be possible, the Spanish government would have to prove that it is an "essential" measure and that there is no other "less restrictive" alternative option to achieve the desired objectives, regardless of which body approves the law.

Stressing that the proposal goes against the fundamental right of free residence in the EU, the report considers that it will have no effect in preventing speculation, while it refers to other very similar initiatives that have been rejected by the EU. These relate to part of the Austrian Tyrol, a region of Denmark and a proposal in Hungary.


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