Spain seeks to stop home evictions
Spain's government failed to clinch a deal with the opposition to prevent families being evicted for defaulting on their mortgages and said talks would continue today to draft a decree by the end of the week.
After six hours of negotiations in Madrid late yesterday, government and Socialist party officials agreed to reconvene today to thrash out a decree which the cabinet will approve on November 15th, a government spokesman said.
He gave no details of the proposals.
Prime minister Mariano Rajoy, who faces a general strike this week amid mounting street protests, pledged measures to stem evictions last Friday after a woman took her own life as officials tried to seize her home.
Mr Rajoy is trying to respond to outrage over evictions amid a taxpayer-funded bank bailout without inflicting further losses on a financial system crippled by the collapse of a debt-fueled housing boom.
"No family in good faith should end up homeless as a result of the crisis," economy minister Luis de Guindos told the European Parliament in Brussels yesterday, without giving details of possible changes.
Mr 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 of mortgages that now have a default rate of 3.1 per cent compared with 10.5 per cent for lending as a whole, according to Bank of Spain data.
Amaia Egana became the second person in the past month to take her life in Spain over an eviction when she threw herself from her apartment in Baracaldo as officials arrived to change the locks on Friday.
Some 400,000 homes have been foreclosed in Spain since the start of the five-year slump, which is tearing at the fabric of the country. The number is set to increase in the absence of any government action, after unemployment reached a record 26 per cent in September.