In the early hours of Friday, January 23, a unit of over 50 riot police officers broke through a thick protective wall of neighbours [in Spain people actually try to protect their neighbours from being evicted] and into the small Madrid apartment rented by Wilson Ruilova, an unemployed electrician. Ruilova, his wife and three children were summarily frog-marched out of the flat by police officers working on behalf of the apartment block’s new owner, Fidere, the Spanish subsidiary of US investment giant Blackstone.
Since buying the property from EMVS, a cash-strapped public social housing company in 2012, Blackstone’s Fidere did what all slumlords have done throughout history: it cranked up the rent of each flat, from 480 to 700 euros per month. Like hundreds of thousands of unemployed workers in Spain, Ruilova could not keep up with the payments.
The following video, courtesy of Periodismo Humano, shows what it means to be evicted by the police in Spain. Thanks to the government’s new Gag Law, helping your neighbours try to avoid eviction will soon be an administrative offence (with crippling fines running into thousands of euros), as will posting videos of the police in action.
Welcome to the new Spain, scarily similiar to the old one!