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Spanish architects: time running out for profession-threatening law

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Architects in Spain are hoping the government will run out of time to pass the controversial law that could allow engineers to design buildings

Senior figures told the AJ last year the proposed Law of Professional Services would permit other construction professionals to take on work that currently has to be done by dedicated architects.

Opposition to the move has remained high, with the country’s Confederation of Architects Associations, CSCAE, writing an open letter to the government late in 2013.

Clara Murado, partner at Madrid-based practice Murado&Elvira, told AJ there was hope that the bill would fail to be passed ahead of major elections.

‘Some people say the government should have polemic laws like this one ready before spring, otherwise it will not be easy for the minister,’ she said.

‘European elections will be in May 2014, and municipal and autonomic elections in 2015, so he will have a hard time making it happen. Let’s hope it’s true.’

The CSCAE’s letter said citizens had been respecting and safeguarding architecture for centuries.

‘The government, elected for a certain time period, can not violate the property rights of those citizens,’ said a translated version of the letter.

It said the bill demonstrated animosity towards architects.

‘Far from recognition of their career, their strong and committed social work in defence of citizens, [the bill]… devalues this and only this profession, forgetting rights of citizens and professionals, ignoring guarantees [to] users and consumers, and all justified with false economistic arguments,’ the translation reads.

‘Architecture is convinced that a serious government will not turn away a few professionals and a discipline that has shaped a model of excellent qualifications, are part of the brand Spain and do nothing but responsibly fulfil what society has given them.’

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