Spain announced Thursday a two-year halt to evictions of the most vulnerable home owners as a public outcry mounted over suicides linked to desperate people facing expulsion.
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's right-leaning government said it agreed on the moratorium "for humanitarian reasons" and the new measure was restricted to those most in need.
"These are urgent measures in difficult circumstances linked to the crisis", Economy Minister Luis de Guindos told a news conference after a weekly government meeting.
The Spanish Banking Association announced Monday it was freezing mortgage-related evictions for two years in extreme cases. Savings banks, too, suspended expulsions while awaiting new government rules.
Many people were shocked by two suicides in 15 days by indebted homeowners facing expulsion in Spain, where both banks and borrowers were hammered by a 2008 property crash.
On November 9, 53-year-old former Socialist politician Amaia Egana jumped out of her apartment window to her death in the northern Basque municipality of Barakaldo as bailiffs were set to evict her.
Her suicide came 15 days after 53-year-old Jose Luis Domingo hanged himself shortly before bailiffs came to turn him out of his home in the southern city of Granada.