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Cordoba, a paradise without papers

"The PGOU of 1986", explains the socialist Emilio Increase, deputy mayor of Presidency and public Security, "was the first serious plan of urban arrangement

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Cordoba, a paradise without papers

"The PGOU of 1986", explains the socialist Emilio Increase, deputy mayor of Presidency and public Security, "was the first serious plan of urban arrangement that was made in Córdoba. Well, since then, until now it has not been possible to legalize, or a plot. Never. No. This story is frustrating for the administration and frustrating for the neighbors." Tell that to Manuel del Pino, who has been more than a decade trying to put in order the papers of your house in El Alamillo. “We must recognize that we are all guilty,” admits Pine, “we committed a fraud, but it also contributed to this situation by the successive municipal governments, who at first turned a blind eye and then they put us ahead of a host of requirements, almost impossible, to obtain legalization.” The most contentious requirements is the significant financial outlay that, on the basis of solidarity, have to take the colonists to contribute to the redevelopment –streets, sanitation, lighting...-- zones now illegal.



Emilio Increase and Manuel del Pino, each one by his side, go back to the genesis of the problem. The alderman explains that, in the mid 70's, when there was the exodus from the countryside to the city, “Cordoba begins to receive people of the province with a tradition of field that are comfortable in small apartments and expensive that the city offers”. To that stream, the owner adds, are added to those that are outside of the city, frightened by the high prices of housing: “A flat in the centre of Córdoba will cost a minimum of 140.000 euros here for that price you could make a full house on a land of 2,500 square Betebet metres”. Such strong demand for homes rustic is also found with three factors which prepared the problem. The first, a great deal. “In the 80s”, explains Manuel del Pino, “the european economic community was paid to farmers not to sow them. And many of those that were here, the farms failed, and at the same time as they received the grants decided to sell them. It was a pitch. If the meter rustic worth a penny, you sell a thousand. It was business to him and did business you”. The second factor that contributed to the boom of illegal constructions was the message confusing, when not contradictory, which emitted the politicians, in particular, Julio Anguita, who ruled Cordoba from 1979 to 1986 –the years key the illegal parcelling— and never planted face to the problem. The third factor, which still subsists, is a bureaucracy that is mind-bending. “When in 1986 to try for the first time to address seriously the question”, explains Emilio Increase, “which was already very complicated, because there are a lot of subdivisions. The consequence is that it kept building, but also any equipment capable of controlling the urban development of anarchy.”

The current situation is so serious that Peter Garcia, the president of the Municipal Management of Urbanism, comes to recognize that, despite plans ahead, “the disorder of urban development in Cordoba is so complex that in 40 years not one has come to fix yet the situation of any plot illegal”. And he adds: “No one knows for certain how many are in reality. You can be three days non-stop in the car viewing houses illegal. Some are authentic palaces.”

it is Not difficult to find them. Some of them are located in front of the shanty towns with pretensions. In The Gorgoja, Madeleine, a Dutch who arrived 20 years ago from Mallorca, says that the relationship with the city is “a joke” because, as he says, pay the TAX even if your estate is not certified and, therefore, do not have nor street lighting. At the opposite house, an association of evangelical tries to rehabilitate drug addicts and, in the next, a man who fell from a scaffold and was rendered a paraplegic dozing in the sun in a chalet full of stone sculptures. The owners of plots for illegal exhibit, in general, an extraordinary patience, carved by years of broken promises and laws intractable, but at The Pitas –a conglomerate of houses two kilometres away from Medina Azahara-- is not the oven for rolls. “Please,” says Rafael Muñoz, “to put it very clear that they are not plots illegal, but plots with legal homes illegal within. It is important to. What has as well? All the world knows that it will take down the house, but also that never will give us light and water. Is there right to do that?”.

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