Mon. Dec 6th, 2021

Ione Belarra, Minister of Social Affairs in Spain’s left – wing government, is facing a bill aimed at rent controls (“Spain adopts private equity landlords as housing costs rise”, Report, 15 November). She says the housing business can stay afloat, but “not at the cost of evictions, or people having to pay more than 30 percent of their income on rent”.

Just for your information, in the merry noughties, many people as poor as church mice took out a mortgage, and quite a few spent (and apparently continue to spend) more than 30 percent of their income on rent. What Belarra’s radical Podemos party is proposing is a ban on evictions while limiting the ability of housing organizations to work.

Things are by no means better on the opposition benches. Pablo Casado, leader of the populist right-wing People’s Party (PP) and probably next prime minister, recently tried to ridicule the government’s energy policy by pointing out that solar energy does not work at night.

It was meant to be a joke, but none of the participants laughed.

In Spain, it seems, our economic and energy woes are exacerbated by the mediocrity of our political class.

Ruben F Pola
Barcelona, ​​Spain

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