Judge puts kibosh on Spanish eviction
Public workers, small political parties and non-profit organisations stage a protest against government austerity on February 23, 2013 in Madrid. Photo: AFP
MADRID: An 85-year-old Spanish woman has been saved from eviction after a campaign ended with a judge suspending an order forcing her to leave her home.
Aurelia Rey, a pensioner with no living relatives, has fought a public battle to avoid being forced out of her home after struggling to meet her euros 126 ($160) monthly rent payments. The octogenarian, who has lived in her flat since 1979, survives on a monthly pension of 356 euros a month, a third of which she pays in rent.
Mrs Rey had been offered the choice of two different social housing units but refused them as she did not wish to relocate to a different neighbourhood. The order to suspend her eviction came after demonstrators had camped outside her home for two weeks.
Evictions have become a deeply unpopular feature of Spain's painful recession, blamed for four suicides this year alone. There have been an estimated 400,000 evictions since 2008.
Last week firefighters were called to Mrs Rey's home in the centre of A Coruna, in north-western Galicia to kick down her door on the request of bailiffs. But they refused to carry out the order and joined the crowds of protesters gathered outside her building.
Since then firefighter unions, locksmiths and police unions have said they will refuse to carry out evictions.
The Daily Telegraph