Thousands protest to end evictions in Spain
MADRID (AFP) - Thousands of people demonstrated in Spanish cities on Saturday pushing for a new law to end a wave of evictions of homeowners ruined by the economic crisis.
Several thousand marched yelling to the din of drums and horns in central Madrid, waving banners reading "Stop evictions" and yelling "We have no homes!" Similar protests were called in Barcelona and 50 other Spanish cities, the latest of months of demonstrations driven by anger at Spain's recession and the conservative government, which is imposing austere economic reforms.
Campaigners passed a rare milestone on Tuesday when the Spanish parliament agreed to debate a popular bill of measures to protect poor homeowners, backed by a petition that received more than 1.4 million signatures.
The organisation that brought that petition, the Platform for Mortgage Victims (PAH), called Saturday's nationwide protests to pressure lawmakers to follow through and vote it into law quickly. "I think it will pass, and it will not be thanks to the politicians but to pressure from citizens in the street," said one demonstrator in Madrid, Enrique Valdivieso, 27, holding up one end of a banner reading "Government resign".