Demonstrations across Spain to demand the right to housing and the end of evictions

15.02.2013 - Redacción Madrid

Following the report in Pressenza yesterday about the elderly couple in Majorca who committed suicide under pressure from their debts we report on social demonstrations taking part in Spain tomorrow.  The Platform of Mortgage Holders and groups of 15M (The Occupy movement in Spain) have called for protests across Spain on the 16th of February to demand the right to housing, access to social housing and the cessation of evictions.  We reproduce here the manifesto that these organisations have published on their websites.

 

Today we continue marching to defend and demand the right to housing, a fundamental right systematically attacked in our country.  The Platform of Mortgage Holders denounces the dramatic situation to which thousands of families who cannot afford their mortgage or rent have been condemned to: evicted or threatened with eviction, victims of a mortgage con and the extreme attack on the right to housing by financial companies, who have been looked after by successive governments.

420,000 mortgage defaults in the country in the last six years and 220,000 evictions are simply intolerable.

In front of the abuses of financial companies – those responsible for the current crisis – and the complicity of the government that has protected them with an unfair law which puts all the responsibility onto the most vulnerable in society, at the same time as this very government spends billions of euros of public money on the banks without any kind of compensation, the PMH and motivated citizens have defended the right to housing and we have put on the table the solutions to end the con.  Because there is no sense in the banks accumulating thousands of empty flats while thousands of families are living in the streets.

With the Popular Legislative Initiative we have exhausted all the mechanisms that the system has to offer to change an obviously unfair law.  We have spoken to local government, social services, political parties…  We have mobilised.  We have stopped evictions and we have done everything available to us to transform a clearly unjust situation.  The demands of the PLI are minimal: retroactive payment in full on return of the property, social housing to be made available in vacant properties accumulated by the financial companies who have made profit out of the crisis, and a moratorium on evictions.  The PLI has gathered more than one million signatures, which have been added to the popular clamour demanding a fair and urgent solution to this problem.  We’re not looking for charity.  We will not accept discounts.  We want laws that guarantee rights, equality and dignity.  But the PLI is also a way of demanding democracy, a democracy that has to be in the hands of the people and not in the hands of financial powers.  Tired of mediocrity, corruption and greed, and empty answers and demagoguery, we demand to be listened to and to participate in a real democracy.

The situation is serious and urgent.  We have reached a limit in which there are people who have taken their own lives; a situation generating daily suffering for thousands of those affected.  We cannot wait for months for the approval of the PLI, nor can we allow for it not to be approved.  The PMH will not sit with arms crossed waiting for the PLI to reach Congress.  We can’t do it.

From now, we call on all political parties to vote in favour of the PLI and pass it urgently.  If they don’t do it we will hold them responsible for the financial genocide that we are suffering and they will have to accept the consequences.  The PMH will increase its actions of condemnation and civil disobedience in front of those who refuse to approve the PLI and we invite all citizens to join us.

But we will not stop there; our struggle is a fight for the right to housing.  “People without houses and houses without people, doesn’t make sense.”  Banks that accumulate thousands of empty homes, while families and people are kicked into the streets.  In front of this nonsense, together with a sensitisation campaign, we announce that campaigns to recover empty houses in the hands of financial companies will be intensified.

We demand retroactive payment in full, social housing and an end to evictions now!

We demand the right to housing.

Yes We Can!

 

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