A PROPOSAL has been put forward in the Spanish Parliament that could see squatters evicted within 48 hours.

The motion argues for a change in the law to make it possible to evict squatters within 48 hours should they be unable to produce property deeds or a rental contract to demonstrate their right to remain in a building.

It also proposes amending the law to allow residence committees to initiate proceedings to kick squatters out when the owner themselves fails to do so. And if neither the owner or the building community start the eviction process, then the council can do so, under the new proposal. 

The proposal addresses the notoriously difficult problem of dealing with squatters or ‘okupas’ as they are known, in Spain where an estimated 49 properties are newly squatted each day.

Currently, the problem is compounded by the inability of local police to act, lengthy court cases when they do, high costs involved and the possibility of property owners going to jail for making a wrong move. 

However the initiative has been put forward by the Catalan European Democratic Party (PDeCAT) which holds only a handful of seats in the parliament in Madrid, making it unlikely the proposal will find widespread support and be passed as law. 

The party is significantly less powerful than it has been in the past and has fallen behind in popularity to left-wing Catalan seperatist party CUP, which is more supportive of squatters’ rights.

Catalunya has the biggest problem with squatters in Spain, with 40% of squatting incidents in Spain occurring in the region. 

The proposals are in line with recent recommendations of a report on squatting in Spain by thinktank Accion Liberal. 

Its author, Daniel Rodriguez Asensio, stated: “Allowing squatting is just one more step towards a communist and authoritarian regime in which the will and rights of individuals are subjugated to the random wishes of the government of the day.”

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