A Spanish woman has set herself on fire at a bank in an eastern city, after losing her home to the bank over unpaid loans, reports say. Local officials said the woman, aged 47, doused herself with flammable liquid and set herself on fire after entering the bank branch in Almassora on Monday. The police and rescuers managed to save the woman and put out the flames. She was then transferred to a hospital in Valencia by helicopter. Reports said that burns covered half of her body.
Spanish banks are blamed for mortgage foreclosures and evictions of homeowners. At least five mortgage related suicides were reported in the past few months.On January 4, a 63-year-old man, who suffered from financial problems, died of self-immolation in the Carlos Haya hospital in the southern city of Malaga. On January 2, another Spaniard, 57, set himself on fire in protest against social injustice and the high cost of living in the debt-ridden country. Public protest against the evictions and suicides has prompted Spain’s ruling party to agree to debate possible changes to law on mortgage default in parliament. Battered by the global financial downturn, the Spanish economy collapsed into recession in the second half of 2008, taking with it millions of jobs. Unemployment currently stands at about 26 percent. SAB/HN