Joaquín López Pagán
La Opinión de Murcia
Spain has to stop kicking families out of their homes, said Joaquín López Pagán. The mortgage default crisis has left us with one of Europe’s highest foreclosure rates. Hundreds of thousands of Spaniards have been evicted in the past five years, and because of our draconian finance laws, most of them are still expected to pay their arrears. It’s no wonder that at least five people have committed suicide in the wake of or in anticipation of eviction—Spaniards are losing hope. Last week, the government finally passed a law giving some relief to homeowners who are behind in their payments—but even that doesn’t go nearly far enough, and it does nothing for those who have already lost their homes. What we need is a “second chance act” like those in France and Sweden, which allow troubled borrowers to negotiate lower payments or deferred payment plans with their banks, “so they can keep a roof over their heads while they get back on their feet.” Most of us want to pay what we owe; we just need to be given a fair chance. “It’s a matter of civic dignity” to provide that to our fellow citizens. “Our lawmakers bear full responsibility for the tragic consequences of each day that passes without addressing Spain’s homeless problem.”
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