The spokeswomen of PP, Mari Carmen of Spain, and Ciudadanos, Mari Carmen Sánchez, have signed a combined Institutional Declaration so that in the next plenary session the Consell is asked to urge the central Government to introduce the necessary modifications to the Spanish Penal Code to fight against illegal occupation of homes.
It is also intended that this crime be punished more severely and facilitate the eviction of illegally occupied homes by public authorities within a maximum period of 12 hours. Right now, the illegal occupation of real estate is punishable by a fine of three to six months. If unauthorized occupation occurs with violence or intimidation, a prison sentence of one to two years is imposed.
The explanatory statement of the Institutional Declaration indicates that the city of Alicante attracts millions of visitors every year thanks to its privileged climate and its beaches, and many of them have a second home in the city, “which on many occasions spend long periods of time uninhabited.” Both political groups believe that this is the reason why Alicante has a rate of occupied homes above that of Madrid.
The Institutional Declaration announces that “in Alicante there are practically occupied neighbourhoods, such as the Juan XXIII neighbourhood, one of the poorest in Spain. As a consequence, fights, dirt and drug trafficking are increasing in this area,” causes that contribute to the deterioration of the neighbourhood. ”
Impotence in the illegal occupation of homes
In this way, the Alicante City Council intends to help the neighbours with the “despair that many of the owners of occupied homes suffer because of the difficulty of recovering their homes”.
For this reason, the City Council considers that it is urgent to tackle the squatting phenomenon carried out by individuals or groups of organised crime, which do it in a premeditated manner and with a lucrative purpose. In addition, it also indicates that “we must distinguish squatting by people in situations of vulnerability and that which is carried out by organised crime.”
According to PP and Cs, “despite the latest legislative reforms have tried to ensure that squatters can be evicted in a more agile way, allowing owners to go to the civil route and not only to the criminal, the process remains long and distressing for the owners.” As a result, many times the squatters leave the house themselves, but having caused serious damage to the property.”
This is coupled with the problem that squatting often involves the installation of illegal businesses with marijuana plantations in which “illegal hooks are used in public lighting that can end up with serious accidents, such as fires. The government team recognises that administrations are not being efficient to find a solution to this problem, and often the solution is left in homeowner’s hands.