Priests’ fowl play forces storks to flee nests

Spain's eviction crisis is now affecting its bird population after 39 feathered families were kicked out of their nests by parish priests in the village of Alcolea de Cinca, in northern Spain.

Priests' fowl play forces storks to flee nests
39 stork families have been evicted from their church roof home by priests in Alcolea de Cinca, Huesca. File photo: André Vasconcelos
The church clerics got the green light from the regional government to remove the nests after they claimed the storks had  caused €32,000 worth of damages to the tiled roofs of the church, news site 20 Minutos reports.
Not content with the initial eviction, Alcolea de Cinca's priests put up electrified fences on the church roofing to stop the long-legged birds from coming back. 
The ensuing results were anything but benign, as one of the returning storks was badly electrocuted and broke its wing when flying into the church weathervane.
Firemen, the Guardia Civil and environmental protection agents all helped release the bird and took it to the local bird shelter.
Spanish environmental group Ecologistas en Acción condemned the treatment of the protected species.
"The days when storks used to be considered a divine blessing are long gone", wrote bird lover and blogger César Javier Palacios. 

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Elderly deaf and dumb couple face eviction over son’s debt

The proposed eviction of an elderly couple who are deaf and dumb and can’t read or write because they unwittingly acted as guarantors for their son’s bank loan has sparked public outcry in Spain.

Elderly deaf and dumb couple face eviction over son's debt
Photo: Benjamin Pleguezuelos /

Bankia made the decision on Monday to cancel the eviction of an elderly couple who are disabled and illiterate after bowing to public pressure and a petition that collected 220,000 signatures in just 48 hours.

Last month Maria del Carmen Lebron, 81, and Antonio Pleguezuelos, 76 who have lived in their home in the Madrid suburb of Pinto since 1970 were given an eviction notice as Bankia called in an outstanding debt owed by their son Gregorio.

It was only then that they learnt that in 2005 they had signed documents acting as guarantors for a €219,500 mortgage for their son, even though they hadn’t understood what they were signing.

In fact the mortgage agreement states that the contract was read out to the couple by a notary and that they had fully understood and agreed the terms. Their lawyers now argue that the agreement was invalid as both are completely deaf – Antonio lost his hearing when he was four years old after falling ill with meningitis and Maria del Carmen was deaf since birth.

When their son lost his job in the crisis and fell behind on mortgage payments the bank called in the debt and demanded they leave their house by January 30th 2017.

  Their eldest son Benjamin made the case public starting a petition on which garnered more than 200,000 signatures in just 48 hours and made headlines across Spain.

On Monday, Bankia announced that it had stopped the eviction order and would cancel the debt “given the particular vulnerability observed in this case”.

The case highlights the still ongoing plight of indebted homeowners suffering years of unemployment as a result of Spain’s economic crisis.

During the peak of the eviction crisis as banks called in loans, hundreds of families were evicted each day. In 2013, some 50,000 families were turfed out of their homes.