Centre for Initiatives & Tourism on Land Law

Opinion Article by Fernando del Castillo y Benítez de Lugo, president of the CIT, Centre for Initiatives and Tourism of Gran Canaria.

Gran Canaria must not miss an opportunity like the one offered by the new Land Law Project (Proyecto de Ley del Suelo). After 14 years of inactivity in tourism growth, produced by a moratorium unjustly perpetuated, the effects of a deep financing crisis in the real estate sector and a tangle of legislation that affects a triple, overlapping and inefficient administration, finally, a more flattering horizon with this new law is visible for our island.

This economic damage has been even more burdensome for Gran Canaria due to lack of a strategic vision and cohesion from some within the island’s political class that has fortuitously ceded power to politicians from other islands, with the same aspirations, harming and unjustly subjecting ours to a progressive loss of power in the regional institutions during recent years, in spite of being the one that contributes the most. Projects that are betrayed by personal ambition are already born weak, and if at the same time they pretend to hide themselves in ideologies, in political feelings already available, they limit their route. The fault is not of others, the CIT of Gran Canaria has long been defending the need for greater union in defense of progress for our beloved island and precisely the non-dispersal of our political force.

The economic situation, in spite of the good tourist results, is not at all desirable. In our desire to contribute to the development and well-being of Gran Canaria, we need to create more jobs; given the still rampant and unacceptable unemployment figures on our Island and especially the limitations of our unemployed citizens, particularly those in this segment, who are eager to aspire to a decent job. The proposed Land Law guarantees orderly and sustainable growth as it continues to provide cabildos and municipalities with sufficient filters and procedures for qualification and urban approval. The Law gives local corporations more powers to expedite and resolve all the priority actions of their insular and municipal responsibility. Each Island and its Town Councils will be better [able to exercise] their territorial planning. In addition, the Regional Government continues to reserve power to unblock or approve matters that transcend island interests.

We must support a law like this that simplifies and repeals those others that have only contributed to generating confusion and legal insecurity for investment and our territorial ordering. Proof of this failure are the numerous stalled Municipal General Plans still not yet approved since time immemorial.

This Law will bring wealth and prosperity to our companies and citizens, with a clear benefit for the general interest. Gran Canaria will benefit the most as it is the one that has suffered this stagnation the most. We must ensure economic growth on some islands who have boasted of their openness to the outside world, diversify our economy and the tourism sector with new, innovative projects that will ensure our competitiveness in difficult times. Ideally, the approval of this bill would be accompanied by the definitive elimination of the tourist moratorium.

The  Centre of Initiatives and Tourism of Gran Canaria is a private, apolitical entity, supported by its partners.

Created in 1934, it is the oldest in the Canaries and the third in Spain.

Currently, the CIT of Gran Canaria is part of the Spanish Federation of Initiatives and Tourism Centers (FECIT), the General Board of the Gran Canaria Tourist Board, the Canary Islands Regional Tourism Council, the Canary Islands Consultative Council Tourism of the Illustrious City Council of San Bartolomé de Tirajana and the Association of Civic-Cultural and Sports Clubs of Gran Canaria (ASOCLUB).

 

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