Locksmiths in Pamplona, Spain boycott evictions

desahuciosBy Anne Sewell

In 2012, more than 50,000 families were evicted from their homes in Spain for nonpayment of their rent or mortgage. Then the suicides began. Now locksmiths in Pamplona say, no more – they will not assist with evictions.

Evictions are becoming commonplace in crisis-torn Spain with so many people losing first their jobs, and then their homes. When an eviction is made, the normal scheme of things is that locksmiths are employed to change the lock on the home, hand over the keys to the prosecutor, who then delivers them to the bank that is claiming the housing.

The locksmith is chosen on a random basis by the attorneys representing the financial institutions. 15 locksmith companies in the urban area of Pamplona have seen an increase from an eviction each month, up to an average of three per week. However, now, according to Iker de Carlos, the Assembly Speaker of the Professional Locksmiths of Pamplona, in Spain’s Navarre region, “they will have to call locksmiths outside Navarre.” De Carlos, who works in his family’s locksmith business, said, “What you see on television is different from when you go there. You know you’re helping to kick people out of their home, to stay on top of a perpetual debt that you will have to keep paying.”

“We know that we will not start a revolution, but we want to serve as a example to Navarre society on how to fix an unfair situation,” he added. Referring to a suicide of an eviction victim, 53-year-old Amaia Egana, in autumn 2012 outside of Pamplona, de Carlos said, “We’re people, and as people we can’t continue carrying out evictions when people are killing themselves.” The Union of Security Locksmiths has 300 member companies, with more than 2,000 professionals, who are now working against the evictions.

Among the evictions they are boycotting, are situations where entire families, the elderly and children would be on the street once their home has been taken from them. PRI reports that this is actually a very ingenuous plan, because if no one changes the locks on the apartment or house, the bank can’t repossess it, and the evictees can get back in. Apparently the legal proceedings to get them out again would take months, or even years.

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