Thursday July 31, 2014

QUESTION OF THE WEEK

Survey results are meant for general information only, and are not based on recognised statistical methods.




Home »  News »  Business

Thousands of Spaniards take to the streets to protest home evictions during a recession


Protesters shout slogans against evictions as they march along a street during a demonstration in Barcelona Spain, Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013. Demonstrations are being held across Spain to protest harsh repossession laws that have led to hundreds of thousands of evictions during the country’s deep recession. More than 350,000 Spaniards have received eviction orders since 2008 because they were unable to make mortgage payments. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

MADRID - Demonstrations were held across Spain on Saturday to protest harsh repossession laws that have led to hundreds of thousands of evictions during the country's deep recession.

In Madrid — one of 50 cities where such protests were planned — thousands of people marched to demand that the government amend the laws. Demonstrations also took place in cities such as Barcelona, Pamplona, Valencia and Seville.

More than 350,000 Spaniards have received eviction orders since 2008 because they were unable to make mortgage payments. Unemployment is at a staggering 26 per cent, with young people the worst hit as Spain descends into a double-dip recession.

Most of those evicted remain liable to repay the sum originally borrowed, even as the value of their homes plunges, rendering them hard to sell.

Ada Colau — a spokeswoman for the Stop Evictions platform who helped organize the demonstrations — said the protesters are making these three demands on the government:

—That unemployed homeowners who cannot pay their mortgages can give their homes back to lenders as payment in kind and that this option is made available retroactively.

—That a moratorium on evictions is imposed.

—That vacant, unsold properties held by lenders are rented out as social housing.

Alarmed by growing disquiet over high eviction rates and the protests they have triggered, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's government already has yielded to demands to review the country's mortgage and eviction laws.

But many observers say the changes, affecting the powerful but struggling banking sector, could take months or years to be approved as they make their way through parliament.

"We cannot permit the legislative initiative that has already been given tacit approval by the government to be weakened or reduced to end up something unrecognizable," said Colau. "Our three demands are the bare minimum required."

Banks either sell repossessed homes for much less than the original mortgage value or can't unload them. That means the mortgage holders end up owing the difference or paying back the whole loan plus fees and court costs. Their wages can be garnished by the banks.

Madrid protester Carlos Gomez, 40, said Saturday that he has been warned he will be evicted from his home in April, under a strong police presence.

On Tuesday, a retired married couple committed suicide in Spain, leaving a note saying they also were about to lose their home. That rose to at least five the number of people who are believed to have committed suicide in Spain because they had been evicted or were about to be forcibly removed from their repossessed homes.


Comments


NOTE: To post a comment in the new commenting system you must have an account with at least one of the following services: Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, OpenID. You may then login using your account credentials for that service. If you do not already have an account you may register a new profile with Disqus by first clicking the "Post as" button and then the link: "Don't have one? Register a new profile".

The Weyburn This Week welcomes your opinions and comments. We do not allow personal attacks, offensive language or unsubstantiated allegations. We reserve the right to edit comments for length, style, legality and taste and reproduce them in print, electronic or otherwise. For further information, please contact the editor or publisher, or see our Terms and Conditions.

blog comments powered by Disqus


About Us | Advertise | Contact Us | Sitemap / RSS   Glacier Community Media: www.glaciermedia.ca    © Copyright 2014 Glacier Community Media | User Agreement & Privacy Policy

LOG IN



Lost your password?