Spain: Ada Colau

Europe's Troublemakers Episode 2 of 5
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Lucy Ash profiles five people who are making waves across Europe, with individual stories which expose the continent's cultural, political and economic fault lines.

Ada Colau made the headlines when she called a banker a 'criminal' at a parliamentary hearing into Spain's mortgage crisis. According to Spanish media she is "the best-known representative of popular indignation" in the country. After the hearing, her Twitter following shot up from 8,000 to 100,000. The group she founded, known as the PAH or Platform for People Affected by Mortgages, has blocked hundreds of evictions of families unable to keep up with their mortgage payments. Supporters are encouraged to embarrass government officials by haranguing them outside their own homes. Ada was driven to set up the organisation and challenge Spain's draconian mortgage laws after a number of indebted homeowners committed suicide. But the governing party has accused the PAH of extremism and was outraged when it got a prize last year from the European Parliament. A few months later the government drafted strict new laws against unauthorized protests. Ada Colau is not deterred. "Either we disobey," she wrote on her Twitter account, "or we accept slavery." Lucy travels to Barcelona to meet Ada and some of the distressed homeowners she has helped. They also visit a bank, which was invaded by members of PAH and is now home to families evicted from their former homes.

Producer: Mark Savage.

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15 minutes

Last on

Tue 18 Feb 2014 13:45

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