Spain through the looking glass

Solidarity starts at home

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A Spanish couple are taking solidarity with their crisis-hit compatriots to a whole new level.

The couple from Bilbao have decided to offer up a two-bedroom attic flat in the northern Spanish coastal town of Gijón for free to the homeless family that needs it most. They have set just two conditions: the arrangement is to last only one year and the people who take over the apartment must be able to demonstrate that they are homeless because of the crisis.

‘We could no longer turn a blind eye to what was happening with the mortgage foreclosures,’ the family explained to Spain’s 20 Minutos newspaper.

The family’s decision to give up the flat came after a lot of debate around the kitchen table about the evictions taking place in Spain. Eventually, they decided to place an advertisement in La Nueva España offering up the flat at no charge.

They are giving up the furnished apartment – which is mainly used for holidays and stands empty most of the year – for a maximum of one year, a move which is designed to set clear limits and make clear that this isn’t a lifetime arrangement.

‘We don’t have any secret motive,’ family member Isabel told the newspaper 20 Minutos. ‘It’s a simple gesture from one family to another.’

Isabel is a civil servant and lawyer, and her husband a top business executive. Isabel explained to 20 Minutos that they were lucky enough to find themselves in a good economic position.

The family have received 800 calls since they placed their advertisement. They are now working through a list of candidates and interviews will be conducted this weekend. Isabel said preference would be given to families with children and people with disabilities.

‘We are acting responsibility and will take as long as we need to find the right family,’ said Isabel.

An estimated 400,000 people have been made homeless because of mortgage foreclosures since the beginning of the crisis in Spain.

If you can think of any other ways to help Spain’s crisis-hit families, leave a comment below.


Written by georgemills25

November 28, 2012 at 09:24

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