A deep recession and soaring unemployment in Spain triggered by a housing crash has led to an increase in forced evictions of homeowners unable to pay their mortgage.
Some Spanish gypsy families settled in the area of Puerta de Hierro, near the Palace of Moncloa, in the 1960s and have built brick houses and raised their children and grandchildren there ever since. The settlers are registered with the town hall and have access to public services, but for the past two years have been subject to several evictions under Madrid's town planning board orders, on the grounds that the dwellings are illegal. Members of some families, mostly the eldest, have been relocated to public housing flats in the city, but often their children and grandchildren have been denied the same right to relocation, resulting in many families refusing to go to the rental flats assigned to them because they do not want to leave their children and grandchildren homeless. Out of more than 50 homes that used to stand in the neighborhood, there are only six left now among the debris of those already demolished. (Reuters)