Spain government urged to cancel provision that could force evictions of tenants under terror threat

Spain’s mayors, social activists and leftist parties sent a letter to Treasury Minister Luis de Guindos this week asking him to quash anti-union provisions in the country’s new anti-terror law that would allow eviction of tenants in terrorist-infested areas such as Catalonia. According to the Associated Press, the law passed with the strong support of the Basque Country, the northwestern Spanish region. The national government of the conservative People’s Party (PP) and the Socialists (PSOE) joined forces on the issue.

The Spanish government and Spanish government’s top bodies responsible for anti-terrorism were in support of the bill. The right wing Podemos party, which is the largest opposition party, said the law is dangerous for workers’ rights and the country’s economic stability.

“Tens of thousands of Spanish families have lost their homes. Tens of thousands more are in danger,” the letter to de Guindos says. “How many more unemployed workers’ wages have to be paid for the forced evictions? How much money has to be paid to those working in the banks for the lost wages they earned?”

The letter goes on to say that the Spanish government has been sending the right signals to the international community regarding Spain’s political situation, but it is critical of the government’s actions on the local level.

On Sept. 27, a Moroccan man and his partner were fired by the German real estate company OneSavings Bank after they refused to vacate a €400,000 property in Barcelona because there were no other owners in the area. OneSavings Bank sent a letter to the couple stating they were fired for their extreme and “irresponsible” behavior. The eviction letters say they are being forced to leave their property because the bank’s owners are in a “controlled state of war.”

Italian homeless street artist Shepherd Fairey painted the letter “War” on the roof of the bank building. The mural appears just a couple of hundred yards from the houses that are under threat of being resold to investors for extortionate fees.

“Just as we do not let EU troops enter European territory without the consent of the European Parliament, we will not allow the Bank of Spain or the Spanish government to smash the windows of Catalan homes to try to make empty apartments available to new buyers,” the letter says. “As a population, we have said enough. No more.”

Read the full story at the Associated Press.


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