Officials are calling on the European Union to grant a ‘Balearic exception’ that would limit the purchase of property on the islands by non-resident Britons and Germans.
The Balearic Islands are following the example of the Aland Islands in Finland, where there are limits on the purchase of second homes.
The recent addition to Schengen, Croatia, also limits the purchase of agricultural land to EU citizens who have not lived there for at least ten years.
Beyond the EU, Canada also recently introduced a two-year ban on property purchases by non-residents, with exceptions for immigrants and legal residents.
The islands, home to popular tourist destinations such as Mallorca and Ibiza, are facing a crisis as rising property prices driven by foreign investment drive out local residents and hurt local businesses.
Juan Pedro Yllanes, vice president of the Balearic Islands, has said that this exception is necessary due to the ‘special circumstances’ of the archipelago.
He added that it is not a xenophobic measure directed at foreigners “but to prevent non-residents from buying homes and make it impossible for young people on the islands to afford rental places,” he said. the diary i.
He is seeking the support of Spain’s left-wing coalition government to pressure the EU, which has the last word on the matter.
The EU has a duty to defend the principle of free movement of goods and people throughout the bloc, which could pose a challenge for the initiative.
However, similar exceptions that have been made in places like Finland, Croatia and also Canada encourage such an exception to be made.
In Fornalutx, one of Mallorca’s prettiest towns with just over 600 inhabitants, locals are frustrated with second-home owners who rent out their properties at prices beyond the reach of local residents.
Second home buyers from countries such as Britain and Germany who do not live in the properties have also contributed to the phenomenon of ‘ghost towns’.
This speculation has contributed to rising property prices, which in turn has led to a decline in local businesses and stagnation of everyday life.
Officials in the Balearic Islands believe the EU has recognized areas of cultural importance or natural beauty, such as the Aland Islands in Finland, which must be protected from excessive outside pressure.