Posts Tagged 'State of law'

MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE (Spain Watch): More on a dwindling state of law

After its publication in the State’s Official Gazette (Boletín Oficial del Estado) on November the 21st, the new law on court fees – see – came into force yesterday. This means that, as from yesterday, anyone earning more than 1.100€ gross per month would become the subject of the new fee system if they were to take any dispute to court, which, of course many will have to think twice before doing. Indeed, according to the new system, if it is a small amount in dispute, the court fee will be roughly twice as much as the amount at stake, but what if the kind of money at stake is much higher, such as that usually involved in road accidents, medical malpractice cases, legacies, compulsory purchase or real state disputes? Then the court fee can soar to thousands of Euros. Needless to say, this development is very likely to put many people, already in a distressed situation, in even deeper trouble: imagine your only alternatives are seeking funding to institute legal proceedings to assert your rights, thus making your financial situation even more burdensome, or foregoing your claim, so being bound to negotiate with a much stronger opponent, namely a bank, a real estate agency or an insurance company. By the way, in some cases you may have to pay the court fee even as a defendant if you are sued. For instance, if it were challenging the foreclosure of a mortgage, even though you would be in the defending position, you would be subject to the applicable fee. It’s no great surprise this is the precise scenario where banks are always involved!

It should be kept in mind that this scheme has been put to work in a country which is being stricken by a financial crisis, where a worker’s average salary was about 25.000€ gross a year a few months ago – who knows how much it is now? -. Not to be forgotten either that there is an ever increasing number of families where one or both of its senior members are unemployed, which in its turn has led to a widespread housing crisis in Spain.

Last week, people as rarely prone to be rowdy as the Chairman of the General Council of the Legal Profession took to the streets, loudspeaker in hand, to cry out in protest over the impending approval of the new court fee system and today unprecedented protests from Judges and Public Prosecutors have taken place in front of the Ministry of Justice in Madrid and all Provincial Courts in Spain. Right after its approval, the main opposing party (Partido Socialista Obrero Español or “PSOE” for short) has announced that they will lodge an appeal of unconstitutionality against the new law, which will never be decided by the Spanish Constitutional Court before many a large company has taken a great deal of advantage of it.

Now, to lighten a little bit the gloomy tone of this brief account, the anecdote: after rushing so much in order to have their bill approved in the shortest possible term, the Government has just found out that the new fee cannot be levied in the few coming weeks because the official payment forms are not available yet.

However, foreign investors can feel comfortable here, as they are well protected by our equitable laws. And so can Spanish citizens, as we are under a Government of true philosophers. No doubt they are prominent disciples of Voltaire’s character Dr. Pangloss, whose ever accompanying motto was: “We live in the best of all possible worlds. Collective wellbeing stems from individual misfortunes. Hence, the more individual misfortunes take place, the more collective wellbeing will be attained”.

Oh God, keep us safe from those who promote evil and seek to harm!


Una frase:

"El tiempo es lo que impide que todo suceda de golpe."


  • 30.659 visitas



Escribe tu dirección de correo electrónico para suscribirte a este blog, y recibir notificaciones de nuevos mensajes por correo.

Únete a otros 32 seguidores