THOUSANDS of protestors gathered in 41 towns and cities across Spain today to call for a moratorium on home repossessions and for home ownership to be a basic right rather than a business.
Among the demonstrators were members of the 15-M movement, the Plataforma de Afectados por las Hipotecas ('platform for mortgage victims') and the Democracia Real Ya association.
Most of the marches took place at around 18.00hrs, with the main one being in Madrid, starting from the Bank of Spain in the Plaza de Cibeles, a gathering that attracted around 500 participants.
They carried banners calling for 'no more families on the street' and chanted accusations against bank bosses and their having burst the housing bubble.
Protestors point out that the Spanish Constitution includes the basic right to decent housing and say mortgage-providers have been taking advantage of would-be homeowners by producing unrealistically-high valuations.
They add that there are literally millions of people affected by either repossession or the threat of it in Spain, having lost their jobs and being unable to find another to enable them to pay their mortgages.
At present, there are 1.5 million repossession orders under way, and 16,000 people were forced to hand back their keys in the first quarter of this year.
The demonstrators say that if a homeowner hands back their property or has it repossessed, this should cancel out the mortgage debt in its entirety, rather than the now-homeless owner being forced to pay the deficit, despite having no income.
They add that if the bank is left with millions of homes on its hands that have been repossessed, they should use it as social housing for those who have no income nor money to rent anywhere.