EQUO, the Spanish Green Party, are continuing to push the Spanish government for a real solution to the country’s eviction crisis. Europe’s economic downturn has hit Spain especially hard. Over 27% of the population is unemployed. Among young people, the figure has surged to over 50%.
The effects of unemployment have been catastrophic. Many families have had trouble keeping up with mortgage payments, which means there has been an unprecedented rise in evictions. Up to 400,000 families have lost their homes since the crisis took hold in 2007, a terrible statistic.Under Spanish law, home repossession does not clear your debt. If you are evicted from your home, you are still obliged to pay any money still owed to your bank or building society. EQUO sees this as clearly wrong. “This is causing undue suffering and social tension,” said the co-spokespeople of EQUO, Juan Lopez de Uralde and Reyes Montiel in a recent open letter.
With EQUO’s support, a People’s Legislative Instrument (ILP) has been submitted to the Spanish Parliament calling for three major changes to Spanish eviction laws. First, to put guidelines in place to stop the trauma caused by evictions. The second, to create affordable social housing. The third calls for the cancellation of any mortgage on a repossessed home.
When this ILP went to the Spanish government, they amended it to take out the third change, on mortgage cancellation. EQUO are unhappy. “The government has shown its deafness to this IPL, which is intended to defend the majority from evictions. It does not provide solutions for the thousands of families at risk of eviction and social exclusion.”
EQUO plan to continue working to stop unfair evictions. “The majority of citizens support these measures. The government has a responsibility to listen.”