The suicide of Amala Egana, about to be evicted from her home, has triggered a national revolt against bank practices and foreclosure laws in Spain.
The conservative government, which last month saw massive protests in Madrid taking aim at its austerity program, is now facing a country-wide revolt over Spain's draconian foreclosure practices. With four hundred thousand homes have already been repossessed and no end in sight, with vast numbers of people homeless and/or unemployed, and with 1,000,000 vacant units, it seems like people might just have had enough -- finally -- and the government is at least beginning to listen.
Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos promised on Monday that no needy family will go homeless over mortgage arrears, responding to public fury at a homeowner's suicide as she was being evicted... In this situation, the government and the economy ministry ... has to take steps so that no family in good faith goes without a home. This is our commitment," he said.Even Spain's own banksters are becoming afraid of what might happen...
Spain's banking association said its members would suspend eviction orders for two years for those borrowers worst hit by economic crisis and record unemployment...Note the weasel words. (There are always weasel words). "no family in good faith..." "those borrowers worst hit..." (One needs little imagination to predict, as with mortgage modification programs in the United States, the endless documentation necessary in order for a family to demonstrate economic ruin, while in the meantime another department of the bank going through with an eviction.)
Spanish foreclosure law is insane, akin to debtor's prison:
Under Spanish law, even when borrowers turn over their homes to the bank, they still owe the entire amount of the mortgage.It's no wonder people are just getting angrier and angrier. Those in need and those who see the need have come together, forming an organization known as STOP EVICTIONS. Besides taking on individual cases, they've already had an some effect nationwide:
The pressure by Stop Evictions and other groups led the government to ask banks earlier this year to forgive mortgage debt for properties worth less than 200,000 euros and where all family members are unemployed.Here in the United States, having the government ask banks nicely to stop being cruel doesn't work, and I suspect it won't work in Spain. Ultimately, the government is going to have to choose between its people having a roof over their collective head and an austerity regime that has no bottom line other than Spain's credit rating.
Fans at a Primera Liga soccer match on Saturday protested about the fate of Egana, who killed herself in the Basque town of Barakaldo, and countless others who are losing their homes.The government may soon no longer have the choice.
"They're not suicides. They're murders. The banks and politicians are accomplices. Stop the evictions!" read a banner held up by supporters of Rayo Vallecano, which plays in a working class district of Madrid.