Complaint lodged with EU by Spanish Motorhome users.

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by Momo, Jun 3, 2009.

  1. Momo

    Momo Funster

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    Hello again from Spain!
    We have lodged a complaint with the EU regarding the problems we are having with spending the night in our Motorhomes when correctly parked or stationed and adhering to the “Instruction 08/V-74” (which I posted on this site last year). The complaint lodged, which has been sent to 750 Members of the EU, is as follows:
    “The cause of complaint is to denounce the situation of Motorhome users in Spain who are tired of protesting before the various Spanish governmental departments and receiving no reply and therefore have no option other than to denounce this situation before the European Union with the hope of receiving a solution once and for all. Motorhome users in Spain are continually persecuted and restricted by Local and Municipal Councils and in some cases by Regional Governments with the Spanish State failing to adopt or enforce measures to correct this persecution and where they directly prohibit the legal stationing or parking of Motorhomes in the entire municipal areas of many cities, towns and villages. Motorhome users are denounced as being “camped” – even when they are only legally “parked” in a public car park – due to the enforcement of illegal municipal ordinances which do not take into account the difference between being “parked” and “camped”.
    As we are well aware, it is the Central Government who is constitutionally competent in traffic legislation, first through the Home Ministry and finally through the General Directorate of Traffic. After consultation with diverse Motorhome Associations the GDT resolved via the “Instruction 08/V-74” that: “The General Rule of Circulation does not establish any other conditions that must be upheld on effecting the stationing or parking of any vehicle, therefore this General Directorate of Traffic considers that while a vehicle is correctly stationed, without surpassing the road markings which delimit the station zone, nor the temporary limit of the same, if applicable, the fact that the Motorhome users remain inside their vehicles is irrelevant and a Motorhome vehicle is no exception, being sufficient that the activity in the interior does not transcend to the exterior by the deployment of elements beyond the perimeter of the vehicle such as stalls, awnings, levelling devices, stabilizing supports, etc.
    This interpretation by the GTD is continually violated by some Public Sectors who consider that remaining in the interior of a Motorhome or Camping Car vehicle is equivalent to “camping” which leads the vehicles users to suffer a serious legal insecurity and defencelessness and possibly even producing a cause of prevarication when the vehicles owners are heavily fined, even suffering police harassment, discrimination and comparative punishment, when legally these vehicles should be considered and treated in exactly the same way as any other motor vehicle.
    Spanish legislation is very clear regarding the rights and obligations of Motorhome and Camping Car users and these are clearly covered in the same “Instruction 08/V-74”. Nevertheless the Municipalities draw up ordinances which not only ignore the rights of the Motorhome and Camping Car users but also ignore the Laws which should be upheld when approving their ordinances. The same General Rules of Circulation in article 93 paragraph 2 states: “that nobody may alter these rules” but it is general practice to ignore Laws approved by Spanish Congress and to enforce their own illegal “Laws” and even to ignore the Laws of the European Union regarding coexistence of which they are even unaware.
    Motorhomes and Camping Cars are vehicles which are fitted with determined equipment which allows more comfort in the interior but this in no way changes the fact that they are vehicles and are therefore subject in all aspects to the legal traffic legislation and also to the payment of the corresponding vehicle taxes such as VAT, registration tax, road tax etc. and the same as other vehicles which circulate on public roads are also subject to the obligatory MOT inspections.
    Motorhome and Camping Car users request that they be treated exactly the same way as other vehicles with which they share the same technical characteristics and that the “Instruction V-74” is applied and adhered to and also that an Office be created where Spaniards may claim against the Spanish State for the obligatory compliance of the “Instruction V-74”. There should be no further discrimination with these vehicles than that which the Law of Circulation establishes such as MMA regarding access to the inner towns and cities.
    Motorhome and Camping Car users understand that their rights are being infringed and very often even their dignity, not only Spaniards but also the users from the European Union. We firmly believe that Motorhome and Camping Car users should not be treated in a different manner to the other users of other types of vehicles be they motorcars or lorries and who, when the occupants spend the night inside their vehicles or when they are legally parked, are not molested nor denounced.
    We are not requesting to be allowed to station without any time limit on length of stay as we understand that this could hypothetically molest the rest of users of parking areas and other station zones, we simply wish to be able to station and enjoy and make use of the parking facilities, whether urban or inter-urban, in equal conditions as the rest of the citizens.
    As the interest in the enjoyment of the environment and our rich cultural and artistic treasures demand, we are in complete agreement that the necessary corrective measures be adopted against those Motorhome and Camping Car users who empty their residues and refuse in unauthorized places, molest other people or carry out activities which transcend to the exterior of their vehicles.
    Tourism in Motorhomes and Camping Cars is not only seasonal but is carried out throughout the entire year. Contrary to the rest of Europe, this form of tourism, which in the European Community is enjoyed by more than 2 million families and is on the increase daily, is nevertheless sub-esteemed, when not persecuted, in our country.
    In a global perspective, a lack of knowledge regarding this type of tourism, by some of the Public sectors and a fierce defense of Camping Sites (it must be remembered that many of these establishments close their doors during a great part of the year), in detriment of other sectors involved in the tourism industry all year round such as Motorhome sales agents, gift shops, restaurants, supermarkets, museums, etc. suffer a drastic drop in their takings and there is no substitute - except the dole queues. Spain seems to forget and it is important to remind her that there are important Motorhome and Camping Car Sales Agents who offer work to a significant number of workers and who pay into the municipal and autonomic coffers and the persecution by their agents could cause many prospective buyers to visit other member states for the acquisition of their vehicles or simply decide not to buy.
    This behavior by some of the Public sectors forces us to take action as with this denouncement to defend our rights and our dignity as a people and also as full EC citizens, where you will observe that we are only requesting that the Laws, which should protect us, are enforced and, it is supposed, that our politicians should be the first to set a good example by implementing the Laws.
    We trust that this denouncement and the timely warnings make our politicians reconsider that with their actions they are blocking or eliminating the fundamental rights which they should protect and for which they were democratically elected. We also hope that the rest of the Spanish citizens begin to reconsider the belief that we are a “marginal collective” – perhaps deliberately extended by pressure groups with interests in the Camping Site and tourist sector – and realize that we are citizens exactly the same as others and who mostly obey the principal rule of respect towards the environment and the customs of the places we visit.”
    We have received a reply from Mr. Roger Helmer MEP for East Midlands but as we are not his constituents he will probably be unable to help us.
    Maybe members of Motorhomefun who reside in the East Midlands would be willing to contact Mr. Helmer on your own behalf to lodge the same complaint regarding the problems you have in parking/stationing Motorhomes when you visit Spain?
    Thank you for your help and we trust that with the assistance of other European Motorhomers (French, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Dutch, Belgian, German, Italian, etc) we will all, finally, be able to enjoy our Motorhomes as was intended when we decided to make the necessary investment in acquiring our Motorhomes.
    If you require any further information please contact me at: momoac@ya.com.
    Best regards, Momo.

     
  2. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    hi,,momo good to hear from you. i used your copy of the rules a few times last winter no problem .in aguiles the guardia just walked away after reading the spanish copy. i let him see my english copy he then knew he was lost. thanks for posting the information it was very informative. have a good summer hasta manyana amigo. :thumb:
     
  3. LyndonRV

    LyndonRV Read Only Funster

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    how do you print it in french spanish :thumb:
     
  4. Baggins

    Baggins Read Only Funster

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    EU Regulation

    Well done Momo.

    My friends in Nottingham will certainly take the matter forward with their MEP.

    I really think this matter should also be taken up in the UK where campers/motorhomes are forbidden to park on public roads such as Bournemouth and Poole.

    Perhaps gradually, as local authorities in the UK see the light, provision will be made for overnighting.

    Teignmouth/Dawlish is leading the way in the South-West but there is much to do.

    BW
     
  5. Douglas

    Douglas Read Only Funster

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    Where did you get the English copy? I have looked but cant find one.

    Doug...
     
  6. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    the english copy was posted last october. i,m sure one of you computer wizards can get it bak .i aint too smart on these things . maybe momo can issue a new one . if i knew how to do it i would scan mine and post it . i struggle as it is. it does work if you show both copies the guardia back down . i also ask for their name number etc n make to write it down .maybe i can pass a copy to another funster who is more computer literate than me. let us know if one of you find it .
     
  7. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    hi ,, just to say i hate authority when they have their jobs worth hats on . spent 5hrs in tafroute nic in maroc regarding guardian parking 2 winters ago .now have a letter from their chief of police allowing me to park in tisnit province and use my own self guardianship where ever i want it seems , its all stamped and appears to be legal in maroc . caused loads of fuss this year local gendarme royals left me alone nearly every time they read it. well we do have a nice letter from the queen in our british passports as well . try it it works as well ,we might drop them in it the next time she pops in for tea n biscuits.:Rofl1::Rofl1:
     
  8. nahnotme

    nahnotme Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for doing this momo, having read your other thread I emailed the spanish councils the letter template as you requested and wonder if we can do any more to help the cause ?
    I am planning to winter in spain and this situation worries me to the extent that I constantly have second thoughts about going now. I have visions of my RV being towed away, belongings, dog and all.
     
  9. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    english translation by funster keith on 8-10-08 at 8.19am in wild camping europe.i didnt know i could go back so far must be due for an 11+pass soon.
     
  10. Momo

    Momo Funster

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    Hi LyndonRV: Sent you a pm today. If you are interested in the Spanish and French versions - I also have Portuguese and Italian - I can send but you will have to send me your email. My email is:

    momoac@ya.com

    The files are too big to upload on this site.

    Regards
    Momo :thumb:
     
  11. Momo

    Momo Funster

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    Hi vwalan: Glad the rules came in handy!! Keep them safe and close to hand when you visit Spain.

    ¡Hasta mañana amigo! ¡Feliz Verano!

    Momo
     
  12. Momo

    Momo Funster

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    Regards
    Momo
     
  13. keith

    keith Funster

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    I am getting confused, not hard these days.

    I uploaded an English translation using Google Translator in word and it is in the uploaded section. Opens in word and is only 19 KB. :Wink::Wink:

    Can't you do something similar Momo? I would have thought there must be a web site with it on that you could copy into Word? :thumb:
     
  14. Momo

    Momo Funster

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    Hi Keith:

    There's no problem with the English version in Word - but that is only for your information.

    The important document is a .pdf in Spanish on official letter heading and signed by the DG of Traffic, Pere Navarro, which you should show to the Spanish Local and National Police - you will have no problems with the Civil Guards. This document is too "heavy" to upload on this site - I've tried a dozen times!!

    Regards, Momo.
     
  15. John & Joan

    John & Joan Funster

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    Motorhome use in Spain is not as clear cut as you would think. I made an enquiry to a respected Spanish correspondent and blog writer Arsenio Gutiérrez http://www.autocaravanismo.es/ on a suggestion by Momo, regarding Motorhomes and an appeal to the EU in 2009.

    This is his reply (English corrected)
    Dear John,
    Many thanks for your inquiry. Unfortunately in Spain laws are not like you have perceived. In fact, the laws of the road apply only to movement and parking of an empty autocaravan, as a vehicle. But using a autocaravan as accommodation is considered under the same laws governing camping. These laws are different in the 17 autonomous communities of Spain who have independence to enact there own laws.

    There are also laws that prohibit using autocaravans as accommodation in the area from the coast by a law regulating the use of a dividing strip on the coast (Ley de Costa). Mainly in Spain it is prohibited to spend the night outside a camping site, protecting the interests of camping site business owners. In fact, except in the Basque Country and Navarre, spending the night in a autocaravan off site is illegal. But these rules are only enforced in some locations, in most of the Spanish territory it is allowed to stay overnight in a autocaravan, but not because it is a right protected by law. You run the risk of being denounced and fined, especially on the coast.

    The application of laws on camping is used strictly in Asturias, Cantabria and some towns of the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The municipal Aires for motorhomes are exceptions. Instruction 08 / V-74 has no application absolutely in the use of autocaravans as accommodation, it only applies to parking under the laws of the road. This is possible in Spain because of the independence in the regions to make laws on issues such as camping.

    Europe

    I know, there have been a couple of appeals to the Chamber in the European Union in Brussels about the unification of criteria among member countries on the use of autocaravans as accommodation. The response has been that it is a domestic issue that should be regulated by each individual country.

    I feel I have seemed pessimistic because the legal answer is negative in Spain, especially for Spanish campers although enforcement of the laws on camping is not very strict, however, every year a few hundred penalties are issued which will incur a fine of up to 400,00 €.

    Sincerely, Arsenio Gutiérrez
     
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