Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said he will rush through measures to stem evictions in Spain after a woman committed suicide as officials tried to seize her home.
A bipartisan committee is meeting today to draw up plans to reduce evictions as Rajoy, who faces a general strike this week amid mounting protests, tries to control a growing sense of outrage at mortgage foreclosures. Spain’s banking association responded today by announcing a two-year freeze on repossessions in cases of extreme need for “humanitarian reasons.”
The government “will defend the most vulnerable families affected by the evictions and act with seriousness, sensitivity and great humanity,” Rajoy told supporters at a Nov. 9 election rally in Lerida, Catalonia. The Spanish people are experiencing “terrible things and inhumane situations.”
“No family should end up homeless as a result of the crisis,” Economy Minister Luis de Guindos told the European Parliament in Brussels today. “That is the commitment.”
Rajoy has to respond to concern about rising eviction rates without inflicting further damage on a banking system crippled by bad debts following the collapse of a decade-long housing boom. Banks lent more than 600 billion euros ($763 billion) of mortgages that now have a default rate of 3.1 percent compared with 10.5 percent for lending as a whole, according to Bank of Spain data.
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