Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Stop Los Desahusios

The title is a slogan associated with the strike that just happened. Stop is in English because stop signs are in English by the way. Desahusios is the Spanish word for evictions resulting from the bank repossessing a house. For some reason I can't think if there's an English word that's the equivalent. It's the hot topic in Spain right now. We have an old law that states that if someone can't pay a loan, they lose their property and then still have to pay the bank. Many of the people think that this is inhumane. There's a very sad story that was on the news lately about a woman who lost her house even though she had a good job because she co-signed her brother's loan. He couldn't pay the loan so they both lost their homes, and the sister never told her husband that she co-signed. So when the police came to evict her, well, it didn't end well. Her story has become a bit of a wake up call for the injustice of this law. Even the police unions went on strike, because they don't want to enforce this horrendous law. Things are truly dire in EspaƱa. There are far too many stories like the one above. And there is no end in sight.

The other slogan is "They have left us without a future." The massive brain drain of highly skilled workers, especially nurses, and students, is quite disheartening. In the school I taught in, I felt the despair the worst. Some of students seemed to project the attitude that since there won't be jobs for them when they get out, so they don't see the point in studying. But they aren't the only ones who feel that way. It's like that at my university too. And my city is relatively wealthy. Our economy is booming in comparison. Being the student of economics that I am, I was looking at figures. The most recent figures I could find on my city were 7,4% unemployment. Healthy is around 2-4%. As a whole, Spain's unemployment is a devastating 25,8% and rising. That certainly paints a bleak economic picture.

Soon I'll write another blog about the Eurozone crisis as a whole. Living here I've learned a lot. The dynamics of the crisis are far more complicated than I could have ever known just by reading about it half the world away.

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