UK & World News
Spain: Suicide Death Jump As Bailiffs Move In
A mother in Spain jumped to her death as bailiffs approached to evict her from her fourth-floor flat, officials have said.
Amaia Egana's death was the country's second apparent suicide linked to evictions, with authorities under mounting pressure to ease tough mortgage laws.
Around 500 evictions are being carried out each day across Spain, which is beset by a sinking economy.
Mrs Egana reportedly jumped from the balcony of her home in Barakaldo, in the northern city of Bilbao, as bailiffs approached to evict her for failing to pay her mortgage.
She worked at a local bus depot, was married to a former town councillor and had a 21-year-old daughter.
While protests against Spain's mortgage rules took place in Madrid, neighbours of the 53-year-old held a vigil outside her building.
One of them, Francisco Algazira, said: "Shame on the government for these things.
"They are cutting and cutting and we can't live anymore. The same thing that happened to that woman could happen to me tomorrow."
Jose Luis, a 52-year-old former teacher, said: "They need to stop rescuing the banks and start rescuing people because we are heading nowhere and the loan sharks must have a limit."
Local judge Juan Carlos Mediavilla told reporters that it was "necessary to amend current mortgage legislation" to prevent a recurrence of such events.
And employment and social security minister Fatima Banez said the government deeply regretted Mrs Egana's death.
On Thursday the European Court of Justice's advocate general, Juliane Kokott, handed down a non-binding legal opinion that criticised Spanish legal rules regarding evictions.
The ruling came in response to a query from a Spanish court on a 2011 lawsuit over an eviction due to an unpaid mortgage.
Ms Kokott said the Spanish system did not sufficiently protect consumers against possible abusive clauses in mortgage contracts.
In October, Jose Miguel Domingo, 53, was found dead in the courtyard of his building in Granada moments after bailiffs appeared to evict him.
A day later, another 53-year-old man, who had been unemployed for four years, jumped out of his apartment window in the eastern town of Burjassot as eviction loomed. He survived but with injuries.
Spain's unemployment rate stands at 25% and the government predicts its economy - which is now in recession - will not grow until 2014.
what do you think?
Windows Live User
Can you believe she was driven to this and all that is said by the people behind her stress and anxiety was, "the government deeply regretted Mrs Egana's death". They should hang their heads deep in shame, and immediately be seen to bring about the changes that will stop this happening to others. They have the tools to do this. 500 other potential victims exposed to the same every day! Beggars belief! I hope she did not die in vain & this is the end. This is the direct result of deep austerity cuts in Spain, the same as is being imposed upon Britain's population. When will they learn it is people who count. RIP Amaia Egana.
Shame these austerity measures do not include helping people in debt. Amazing how the bankers and politicians have put us in this mess, and are allowed time to sort out their debt. But the normal people are being crushed. 500 evictions a day, how these people can sleep at night is shocking.
Windows Live User
It's as if Europe needs Aid from the 3rd World
Disgraceful. Capitalism in action. RIP.x
A tragic way to end one's life but that is not the fault of the mortgage company. Times are tough in Spain at present. I would have thought relatives or friends could and should have stepped forward to help alleviate her financial problems.
Windows Live User
I am sure that if they could then it would have been so. However if this is happening to 500 per day then reason stands that relatives will not be able to assist in all cases. The Spanish themselves are correct though, it cannot continue, while they are squeezed from every angle. Something always gives way
Maybe her friends and relations are in the same boat maybe its these people at the top ie bank managers government officials who get outrageous bonuses should be held to account when will people learn we are just expendable commodotys to these minoraty of people who make a living and feed of us
It would be prudent for the "rulers" of humanity to treat them all with great respect. History has shown precisely why as, most likely, will the future.
how much do we take before stand against these banks
governments need to wise up everywhere, y throw someone out of there home and pay for them to rent private thus losing money and making landlords rich when they could help you stay at home and help with the mortgage which could be repaid when your better off or when you sell the house or die its seems simple to me at least this way the money would come back to the treasury instead of sum landlord and be lost forever
very interesting and valid points
thanks, i think we need some real people in government
A desperate situation for anyone to find themselves in. 500 a day in Spain, How many in Greece, Italy or Portugal ?? And these austerity measures all imposed on countries by Brussels to try and save their failed Euro.
Dave how many in this country next year . the benefit reforms . people will be kicked out of their homes
Windows Live User
It would appear that the cost being paid in human life comes to nothing. Will that be the situation here when our government cuts go too deep, and energy costs go too high for our disabled and elderly to manage. When they too are forced deeper into the hands of loansharks, and relatives run out of money to help?
Not just for the elderly and disabled. I would say more than half the country. Food prices are also going up quite steeply and that includes some if the supermarket own cheaper brands
I can't argue against any of you. Austerity measures always tend to hurt the most vulnerable and smug politicians just regard them as collateral damage resulting from their grand plans
Poor woman. The net is closing in on so many of us now. I moved from a tracker mortgage to fixed almost five years ago - AARRGH! Pension is up to £300 a month from £200. Car costs a fortune to feed now. Food has gone up. Heating fuel is extortionate. I'm well into the second year of pay freeze too - which hardly helps. All this is through no fault of our own, many of us here. I sometimes feel like I'm treading water and, to be honest, faced with real financial trauma and with the bailiffs at the door, I'd feel pretty desperate too.
All these billions maybe trillions of whatever currency have been pumped into the banks to save them, why couldn't some of this have been used to help out the unfortunate people who end up in this situation through no fault of their own?
The luxury yacht building business is booming.