Protestors call for action against rising rents and evictions

by Deborah Cater
Example of madrid affordable housing. Attribution Luis Garcia under creative Commons license 3.0
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Across Spain, hundreds of protestors took to the streets to ask the government for new measures to tackle rising rents and evictions.

Spanish news channel RTVE reported the protestors want to see rents regulated at levels that relate to each area, and for tenants to be better protected against eviction. The protests took place across Spain in Madrid, Barcelona, San Sebastián, Bilbao, Vitoria, Zaragoza, Huesca, Murcia and Logroño on Saturday.

Regulated Rents

In Barcelona, the Guàrdia Urbana said 500 people gathered to demand price-regulated house rentals. Trade unions organised the protests, with demonstrators calling for guaranteed rights to decent housing and an increase in social housing

In Barcelona, some of the protestors turned out in ‘Casa de Papel’ (Money Heist) outfits and released flares. The popular Spanish Netflix show is about a bank robbery.

Staggering eviction figures

Currently, there are over 32,000 people in Spain without a fixed address. 12 million people are at risk of social exclusion, and during the period 2008 to 2020 more than a million evictions took place,  protesters in Madrid said.

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The protest started at Puerta del Sol in Madrid, marching towards the Spanish parliament, the Congreso de los Diputados.

PSOE rejects maximum rents

The protests followed PSOE’s rejection of the proposal to set limits on maximum rents. Instead, they chose to modulate taxes to encourage lower pricing levels.

PSOE’s coalition partners, Unidas Podemos, threatened to scrap their coalition with the ruling socialist party over the decision. They described a rental cap as a “non-negotiable red line”. Other allies, including left wing Catalan party, Esquerra Republicana Catalana also criticised the government’s decision.

El País reported on Friday, that the agreement signed between PSOE and Unidas Podemos in January 2020 included a commitment to stop abusive rises in rental prices.

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