Spain through the looking glass

Banks call time on evictions

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Update: November 15, The Spanish Government have brought in an urgent decree which will bring an end to force home evictions for the next two years and establish a fund for social housing.

Original story below:

Spain’s two peak banking associations have just announced a moratorium on home evictions for people in extreme need.

The announcements from the Spanish Banking Association (AEB ) and the Confederación Española Cajas de Ahorros (CECA) come in the wake of intense political pressure and increasing social anger towards Spain’s banking industry over the issue of the forced evictions of people no longer able to stump up for their mortgages.

Late last week, the banks sat down with Spain’s ruling Partido Popular and the socialist opposition PSOE party to hammer out an agreement on the king tide of evictions. But their hand was forced on Friday after it emerged that Amaia Egaña, a 53-year-old socialist council woman from near Bilbao had committed suicide after losing her home.

On the weekend, there were vigils over Spain as people vented their frustration over a situation which has become untenable.

On Saturday, two banks, Kutxabank and Caja Laboral, announced an immediate stop to evictions and earlier today the AEB, which represents all of Spain’s major banks, followed suit by calling a two-year stop on evictions in the case of extreme hardship.

The AEB stated their decision had been made for humanitarian reasons and was a sign of their politics of social responsibility.

The lenders group explained this decision had come after intense debate on the issue and reflected their wish to lessen the suffering caused by the economic crisis.

The banking body concluded their statement by saying it was now willing to further discus the future of the mortgage market with the government, the opposition and other political grouping in a bid to meet the housing needs of the Spanish people.

CECA, meanwhile, issued a brief statement several hours later saying it would suspend all evictions in particularly vulnerable cases. The umbrella body for Spain’s savings and loans institutions will now wait until new rules are finalised.

The evictions story made the homepage of the New York Times today with the paper carrying a devastating feature story on the families affected.


Written by georgemills25

November 12, 2012 at 15:11

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