The diocese and the municipality of Barcelona have agreed on the amount of money the church will have to pay for building permits to keep the famous Sagrada Familia Church, on which work begun 134 years ago—and is not yet completed—was undertaken without any building permit having been signed.
“The privileges of the Church are over....they will have to pay just like everyone else,” said Janet Sanz, deputy mayor of Barcelona in charge of urban planning. It is not surprising that such remarks can be made: since 2015, city hall has been in the hands of a movement affiliated with the extreme left, allied with the Podemos movement, which is also very much on the left.
The most astonishing is that construction on the basilica, designed by Antoni Gaudi, started in 1882, in the absence of any official building permit. A situation that has continued until today.
Following an agreement reached on May 16, 2019, Sagrada Familias’ officials pledge to pay €36 million spread out over ten years, to compensate for work done without authorization or payment of taxes.
For now, the sum of 4.5 million euro must be paid to obtain the famous building permit.
Up to this point, the various municipal teams of Barcelona and the Church have carefully avoided reaching a consensus on the matter. However, the efforts of a radical left town hall, combined with the crushing weight of the works which must be finished in 2026—for the centenary of the death of the architect Gaudi—drove the Church to accept a compromise.
Each year, 4.5 million tourists flock to the 18 tower basilica: a godsend, from which the local government now intends to draw more profit.