Tue, May 21, 2013 - Page 11 News List

Spaniards take fight against evictions to politicians’ doorsteps

Members of Mortgage Victims’ Platform protest during the vote to pass a new mortgage and eviction law at Senate in Madrid, Spain on May 8.

Photo: Reuters

Spanish protesters seeking to stop a wave of evictions have resorted to embarrassing politicians at their homes over harsh mortgage laws that have multiplied the pain of a property crash in the recession-hit country.

Inspired by Latin American human rights campaigns from the 1990s, the “escraches” — Argentine slang for denunciation — have involved protesters posting flyers and shouting slogans on the doorsteps of a number of politicians over the past fortnight.

“There is a certain lassitude — the demonstrations grouping together tens of thousands of people don’t seem to be as effective as before,” said Tomas Alberich, a sociology professor at the University of Jaen.

Late last year a series of suicides of people who had recently been forced out of their homes thrust evictions to the fore, pushing the government to offer the most vulnerable families two years’ breathing room on mortgage payments.

Campaigners now want drastic changes in mortgage rules, including for debts to be cancelled when a house is handed over — a shake-up that could hurt banks. At present, the debts are not even cancelled in death, making Spain’s mortgage laws much harsher than those in many other countries.









1. lassitude n.

困乏;疲乏;厭倦 (kun4 fa2; pi2 fa2; yan4 juan4)

例: Shareholders are blaming the company’s problems on the lassitude of the managing director.


2. to the fore idiom

在前面;在顯著的地位 (zai4 qian2 mian4; zai4 xian3 zhu4 de5 di4 wei4)

例: Dry conditions have brought water use to the fore.


3. shake-up n.

劇變;改組 (ju4 bian4; gai2 zu3)

例: The arrival of the new baby caused a thorough shake-up of their family life.


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