09/11/12 16:41 CET
| updated xx mn ago
| updated at xx
The number of evictions in crisis-hit Spain is turning into a national scandal, as a second homeowner committed suicide on the day a foreclosure order was served.
53-year-old Amaya Egaña threw herself from her fourth floor appartment in the Basque town of Barakaldo.
Three hundred and fifty thousand people are said to have lost their homes over unpaid mortgages since the crisis began.
Senior judges in Spain have joined in the criticism of the legislation and there are calls for politicians to act.
“This kind of situation, like the one we had today here, shouldn’t happen. It would be good if those responsible for changing the law did so – and they’re not the judges,” said local judge Juan Carlos Mediavilla.
The European Court of Justice has also criticised Spain’s mortgage legislation and rules over evictions for being incompatible with European norms. Consumers, it says, are not sufficiently protected against abusive clauses in contracts.
Protest groups have sprung up and there have been demonstrations outside banks.
There have been calls for people facing eviction to pay a “social rent” rather than being kicked out of their homes.
The conservative government and the opposition socialists have agreed to take urgent measures to help the most vulnerable mortgage defaulters.
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