The dead man to the hole and the squatter to the bun

The funeral was held in Ireland and the cheek was in Spain waiting for the moment. He occupied the tourist cottage, changed the lock, installed an alarm, threw away the furniture, and filled the pool. And now to enjoy, that nobody is going to be able to cast him in a good season. There are illegal occupations of houses throughout Europe, perhaps in many countries of the world, but nowhere else will these stories reach the peculiarity of those that occur in Spain. No, it is impossible, this shamelessness, this relief, is unparalleled.

In each of the photos that have been published of the Irishwoman of this news you can perceive the astonishment that This latest occupation ‘made in Spain’ that has occurred in Arcos de la Frontera provokes him. Whoever does not know or has ever visited this beautiful town of CádizHistorical emblem of the Andalusian White Villages Route, I may not fully understand Jean O’Donoghue, the Irish woman who is the protagonist of this story. Twenty years ago, visiting Spain, He arrived with his partner in Arcos de la Frontera and when they looked at each other, they understood that they were going to live there the rest of their days. They took all their savings and bought a small property, enough to rehabilitate an old mansion and turn it into a villa with a pool in the town of their dreams. They are not the first foreigners from Arcos to be attracted by this magnetism nor will they be the last, perhaps that encouraged them even more to settle in Andalusia.

At the beginning of the year, a rapid illness took her partner from this world and Jean, With the soul of a funeral, he decided to travel to Ireland to find the comfort of his sister, his family, his friends. On May 8 she was called by phone from Spain: she was one of Arcos’s neighbors and she had bad news to give her, a stranger had entered her home and seemed determined to stay and live there. “Hurry up,” they told him. Hurry, why? An occupier, after all, is like a thief who breaks into a house and is caught red-handed by the owners. With calling the Policeman It has already been solved, because the guy will be detained at the barracks accused of at least one crime of breaking and entering. “In Ireland – Mrs. O’Donoghue has told these days – the problem is fixed with a call to the Local Police, who immediately come to evict the occupier”.

But that’s Ireland; this is Spain. And the ‘made in Spain’, the ‘Spain is different’ also operates for these situations. In the UK, lThe Police can intervene in a home only with the suspicion that someone has occupied it illegally, without even the need for a complaint, as if crime prevention were operating in those cases. And in Germany, the Police solve the problem in 24 hours, from the moment the owner has knowledge that they have entered his house, the time that has elapsed has elapsed. In general, the legislative trend is moving in this direction, with the addition of an increase in penalties. In Spain, if the complaint is not filed within 48 hours from the occupation, the owner of the property may be involved in a legal problem if he decides to recover his house with expeditious methods.

The owners who ‘give it up’ until they manage to rent or sell it

When she landed in Spain, the first thing the Irishwoman in our history did was go to her chalet to check if everything they had told him was true. And no, it wasn’t, it was far worse. The occupier, who turned out to be the son of one of the residents of the neighborhood, had not only entered the house, but also changed the lock and installed an alarm, like those that are advertised daily to avoid occupying your home. With the chalet secured, he took furniture and belongings and threw them in the trash, to clean the house of uncomfortable memories of the owners. And it filled the pool, of course, for evenings in the garden, smelling of jasmine, on those days of suffocating heat in Andalusia.

What is your face when you look through the grill of the gate of your house and see a guy bathing in the pool, while he, the owner, has to go to a hotel and continue to pay all the expenses of the house who have occupied you? Jean O’Donoghue had no other way out and has been doing this since the beginning of May. Both the Local Police and the Civil Guard They told her exactly the same thing, that they could only help her with the complaint, process it as soon as possible and send it to the judge, but nothing more. And in the court, overwhelmed as they all are and at the doors of the summer holidays, they answered the same thing, that they would attend to her as soon as they could. “I do not understand how a person cannot enter the house where he has lived for seventeen years. It seems to me that the Law supports the offender more than the victim,” laments Mrs. O’Donoghue in ‘Andalucía Información’.

Cádiz

In the civilized Europe In recent times, a Dutch initiative has begun to spread, consisting of centralizing occupations with a public company, so that those who need housing access an uninhabited house, but with the knowledge of the owners who ‘give it up’ until they get rent it or sell it. As in Spain the problem is another, as the occupation is not only due to situations of need but of shamelessness, the ‘solution’ of the public company will come, but it will not end the abuse.

Also in this, the story of this Irish woman from Arcos de la Frontera is a lacerating example: the guy who has occupied the house has more economic resources than the owner. “This boy,” Jean O’Donoghue told ‘Diario de Cádiz‘- he says he has nowhere to sleep, but his mother’s house is right there next door, his aunt’s is right here and I have been told that he has another house nearby and that he rents it for 700 euros. This squatter has more money than me, that I can prove that I have no resources. I do not know what I’m going to do. I’m desperate”.

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