MADRID Nov 10 Spain's conservative prime
minister and the leader of the opposition aim to agree measures
on Monday to stop banks evicting homeowners after a woman's
suicide before her property was repossessed caused public
"No one should be without a home for not being able to pay,"
Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, leader of the opposition Socialist
Party said on Saturday.
Northern Spanish mortgage lender Kutxabank said it was
suspending repossessions after 53-year-old former Socialist
councillor Amaia Egana threw herself out of her fourth-storey
apartment window in Barakaldo in the Basque Country as court
officials came up the stairs to evict her on Friday.
Egana's death, the second eviction-related suicide in Spain
in recent weeks, added urgency to an agreement reached on
Wednesday between the ruling conservative People's Party and the
Socialists to seek a bipartisan deal over repossessions.
Graffiti accusing bankers of murder and calling for an end
to evictions appeared on some bank branches in the Basque
Country on Saturday, Spanish media reported.
"We are living through things that no one likes to see,
situations that are competely inhumane," Prime Minister Mariano
Rajoy told a political meeting hours after Egana's death. "I
hope that on Monday we'll be able to talk about a temporary
suspension of evictions for the most vulnerable families."
One measure would be to grant grace periods, Spanish media
reported. Rajoy said the rules would not be retroactive, while
Rubalcaba called for previous evictions to be included.
There have been nearly 400,000 evictions in Spain since a
property bubble burst in 2008. Unemployment hit 25 percent in
the third quarter, a record high and the European Commission
expects the economy to contract 1.4 percent this year and next
as the second recession since the end of 2009 drags on.
Last week, European Union Advocate General Juliane Kokott
issued a non-binding report concluding that Spanish legislation
on evictions contradicts European norms for protecting consumer
rights. Eur ope's highest court will now have to del iver an
Jose Miguel Domingo, a newsstand owner in Granada, in
southern Spain, hung himself on Oct. 25, before he was due to
lose his home, local media reported.
The same week an unemployed man in Burjassot, a town in the
eastern region of Valencia, threw himself off a balcony on the
day his family was to be evicted from their apartment. Reports
said the man survived the fall.
(Reporting By Iciar Reinlein; Additional reporting by Fiona
Ortiz; Writing by Tracy Rucinski; editing by Jason Webb)