Locksmiths in a Spanish city known for its bullfights are directing their fighting spirit toward another adversary: banks.
The dozen or so locksmiths in Pamplona, Spain, announced in December that they are refusing to carry out evictions, PRI reports. The move could essentially stop evictions in Pamplona because even if the police kick a family out of their home, the evicted can still get back in if no one has changed the locks.
"As people, we can't continue carrying out evictions when people are killing themselves," Pamplona locksmith Iker de Carlos told PRI.
In recent years, Spain has been struggling with a dramatic economic crisis. The country's unemployment rate is 25 percent. Spain's housing market collapsed in 2008 after a housing bubble, hurting the economy and causing a homelessness epidemic. As a result, more than 50,000 delinquent Spanish homeowners were evicted in the first half of 2012 alone, and 1 million homes lie empty in Spain, according to Reuters.
In some cases the evictions have turned tragic. In November, Spain halted evictions for two years for some delinquent homeowners, including the long-term unemployed, the disabled and those with small children, after a spate of recent suicides connected to foreclosures, according to Reuters and Bloomberg.