Seseña is a municipality of Spain located in the province of Toledo, Castilla–La Mancha. It is part of La Sagra comarca.[3] As of 1 January 2020, the municipality has a population of 27,066.[4]

Flag of Seseña
Coat of arms of Seseña
Seseña is located in Castilla-La Mancha
Location in Spain
Seseña is located in Spain
Seseña (Spain)
Coordinates: 40°6′13″N 3°41′53″W / 40.10361°N 3.69806°W / 40.10361; -3.69806
Autonomous communityCastilla–La Mancha
 • MayorSilvia Fernández (PSOE)[1]
 • Total71.41 km2 (27.57 sq mi)
598 m (1,962 ft)
 • Total24,255
 • Density340/km2 (880/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)

Seseña gained visibility as a result of controversial speculative development projects in Vallegrande and El Quiñón during the Spanish property bubble. The municipality is nowadays composed of four sectors that are far away from each other and have no footpath connecting them, as is usual in Spanish towns.

Geography edit

The municipality spans across a total area of 71.41 km2.[4] To the north, the municipality borders the Madrid region.[5] The northern part of Seseña reaches the highest altitude in the municipality, at around 684 metres above mean sea level, while the southern end close to the Jarama and Tagus rivers lies at around 500 metres.[5]

History edit

The Battle of Seseña was an ill-fated Republican assault on the Nationalist stronghold of Seseña in October 1936 during the Spanish Civil War. The battle is notable for being the first time that tank warfare was seen in the Spanish war and for the use of Molotov cocktails against loyalist Soviet T-26 tanks by Francoist rebel troops.[6][7]

In May 2016, 9,000 residents of Seseña were ordered to evacuate after a tire fire at a dump produced a toxic cloud.[8]

Francisco Hernando edit

The Residencial Francisco Hernando

The Residencial Francisco Hernando development was built in the El Quiñón area of Seseña by property developer Onde 2000 belonging to the Grupo Francisco Hernando. Begun during the construction boom of the 2000s (decade), due to the municipality's location within commuting distance of Madrid, it was to be one of the largest such developments in Spain, with an original plan of 13,500 units costing over 9 billion euros to build. However, the massive project raised eyebrows. Since utilities such as water and gas lines were not included in the plans, the completed units risked being uninhabitable. Also the project had been approved unusually quickly: it turned out that the authorities had been bribed, and the former local Mayor José Luis Martín was soon arrested, but never brought to trial.[9][10]

Following scandal and the economic crisis related to the Spanish property bubble, the developer ran into trouble sustaining demand and financing for the project. By mid-2008 fewer than 3000 of the completed apartments had been sold and fewer than a third of the sold apartments were occupied, leaving the development a "ghost town" reminder of Spain's economic woes.[11][12][13]

The developer, Francisco Hernando Contreras aka El Pocero, was never criminally charged with wrongdoing and moved his business to Equatorial Guinea.[10] He died on 3 April 2020 of coronavirus disease 2019.[14]

In the context of the boom of logistics experienced in La Sagra (and the spread of the mobile home phenomena in nearby locations such as Carranque, Yeles, Numancia, Illescas, and Yuncos), most of the dwellings in the Residencial Francisco Hernando were inhabited by the early 2020s, and the municipal government thereby unblocked a plan for the construction of more buildings,[15] with the municipality laying out a project in 2022 seeking to build "up until 13,825 dwellings", even more than those 'El Pocero' dreamed of.[16]

References edit

  1. ^ "Silvia Fernández, del PSOE, se convierte en nueva alcaldesa de Seseña (Toledo) sucediendo al 'popular' Carlos Velázquez". La Cerca. 15 June 2019.
  2. ^ Municipal Register of Spain 2018. National Statistics Institute.
  3. ^ Jiménez de Gregorio 1997, p. 33.
  4. ^ a b "Datos del Registro de Entidades Locales". Ministerio de Asuntos Económicos y Transformación Digital. Retrieved 16 May 2021.
  5. ^ a b Jiménez de Gregorio 1997, p. 32.
  6. ^ History of the Molotov cocktail
  7. ^ Thomas, Hugh (1994). The Spanish Civil War. Simon & Schuster, p. 468. ISBN 0-671-75876-4
  8. ^ "Spanish tyre dump fire triggers evacuation of 9,000 people". The Guardian. 2016-05-13. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2024-02-08.
  9. ^ "Meltdown:Secret History of the Global Financial Collapse", Canadian CBC Investigative Television series, 2008.
  10. ^ a b Alfonso Daniels (2009-02-19). "Property in Spain: Castles in the sand". The Telegraph. United Kingdom: [Telegraph Media Group]. Archived from the original on 2009-02-20. Retrieved 2012-07-09. In Seseña they claim Hernando persuaded the former mayor José Luis Martín to approve his development six years ago, reclassifying nearly 200 hectares of land from farm to urban usage, while ignoring reports from the regional authorities.... Last July (2008) the public prosecutor's office formally accused Martín of lying after telling the local assembly that the reports received from the authorities were 'favourable' and that an environmental impact study had been received (this was not the case), prompting the assembly to approve the project. More damningly, there have also been questions about thousands of pounds the former mayor allegedly pocketed during that same period, an amount Martín claims to have won on the lottery. Hernando says maybe he did win the lottery, and denies having offered any bribes, pointing to the fact that the prosecutor's office decided not to investigate him. A senior member of the prosecutor's office confirmed to me on condition of anonymity that Hernando is not under investigation but that the judge will now have to figure out where Martín's money came from. Few believe that this will happen given that Spain's regional courts have fewer resources to investigate alleged crimes than those available to the prosecutor.... Only as I am about to leave does he tell me that he has decided to leave Spain, tired of its bureaucracy and of waiting for the economy to improve, and will move to Equatorial Guinea.... The purpose is to build 38,000 homes starting at the end of February, as well as construction plants and even football stadiums to host the 2012 African Cup of Nations, which Equatorial Guinea is hosting with its neighbour Gabon..
  11. ^ "From boom town to ghost town", BBC News, 2008-08-27
  12. ^ "How vulnerable is the Spanish economy?", BBC News, 2010-07-21
  13. ^ "Seseña, phantom city in crisis" Archived 2011-07-21 at the Wayback Machine, photo essay from article, "Face à la crise, Zapatero a-t-il tout faux?" by Ludovic Lamant, French language Magazine "Le Journal" 2009-12-21.
  14. ^ "Muere por coronavirus Paco el Pocero, el famoso constructor de Seseña durante la burbuja inmobiliaria". (in Spanish). 3 April 2020. Retrieved 3 April 2020.
  15. ^ Bécares, Roberto (6 October 2021). "Casas prefabricadas y 'caravanas' en vez de pisos: el boom logístico desborda el límite entre Toledo y Madrid".
  16. ^ Bécares, Roberto (16 January 2022). "Un tsunami de ladrillo llega a Seseña: planea 13.825 viviendas que dejan pequeño el sueño de 'El Pocero'". El Periódico de España.