Euro-MPs have demanded the immediate repeal of notorious Spanish land laws that continue to wreck the holiday-home dreams of Britons in the Valencia region.
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero, visiting the European Parliament in Strasbourg, was warned he could face a campaign to stop EU subsidies to Spain unless he intervenes to stop the confiscation of expatriate properties.
Thousands of holiday villas in Spain have even been demolished without compensation for their owners. In some cases, the authorities have charged the property owners for the installation of local services, even after they have lost their property.
About 15,000 mostly British, Belgian, German and French property owners lodged a formal petition with MEPs four years ago in desperation over a 1994 Valencia land and town planning law which triggered 20,000 compulsory purchases of land or property for "urban" development.
The law's aim was to ensure community development plans were not blocked by individual land-owners, but a loophole meant unscrupulous developers could reclassify rural land as urban without the owners' permission - effectively giving themselves compulsory purchase rights on foreign-owned homes at a fraction of the market value.
The European Court of Justice has already ruled the "land-grab" law illegal, but the European Commission says a replacement law - the Ley Urbanistica Valenciana - still breaches EU public procurement regulations and therefore fails to protect citizens' rights.
An inquiry by the European Parliament's Petitions Committee resulted in a report slamming Spanish planning loopholes which leave homeowners defenceless against developers seizing part or all of their property.
But the abuses are still going, and UKIP MEP for the South East Region, Marta Andreasen, seized on his visit to name four constituents she said faced financial ruin as a result of the property rules: Mr and Mrs Prior, and Ms Snook of Berkshire, and Mr Lohmann of Buckingham.
The Priors' Spanish home has been demolished, and Ms Snook and Mr Lohmann cannot live in their properties because of a lack of basic services and infrastructure.
She told Mr Zapatero, holding the EU Presidency for the next six months: "We want a solution now. We want the people to be able to live in the houses they bought. If this is not possible, they need to be granted fair compensation."