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article imageSpain vows to stop eviction of neediest after suicides

By Raluca Besliu     Nov 13, 2012 in Politics
On Monday, Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos vowed that no needy family would have to go homeless over mortgage arrears.
His pledge came as a response to public outrage and protests decrying the suicide of a woman who killed herself in Barakaldo, Northern Spain, on Friday moments before she was going to be evicted. This is the second evictee suicide that happens in a month. This incident happened 15 days after a man hanged himself in Granada shortly before bailiffs arrived at his home.
On Friday, hundreds of protesters in Madrid and Barakaldo demonstrated against predatory mortgage lenders, whom they blame for these two deaths and the precarious situation of numerous other individuals who might be losing their homes in the near future. In Madrid, hundreds of ruined homeowners have been camping outside Caja Madrid, a major mortgage lender, since October 22, demanding that they be spared eviction and that their debts be renegotiated.
In October, a group of top magistrates published a report denouncing the forced evictions trend. The report emphasized that the number of forced evictions had increased by a fifth this year and totaled 350,000 between 2008 and 2011.
The Spanish government has initiated discussions with Socialist party opposition members to draft a decree that changes the legal proceedings leading to an eviction. The decree is to be signed by November 15, 2012.
After discussions with governmental officials on Monday, the Spanish Banking Association (AEB) announced that it would freeze evictions orders for the upcoming two years for individuals who are currently in extreme hardship.
Some protesters emphasize that this measure does not go far enough, as thousands of people who may not fit into the AEB’s category of extreme hardship are about to face difficulties in the next few months.
Nevertheless, Spanish Banks have resisted mortgage legislation changes, claiming that they would drive up costs. The fourth largest Eurozone economy, Spain entered a recession last year and has been facing a record high unemployment rate of more than 25 percent. The country has been facing significant economic problems since 2008, when its housing market collapsed.
More about Spain, spanish economy, Recession, Housing
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