Next week on 17 April, the first evictions from the Son Banya shanty town in Palma are scheduled to be made. Forty-five households are affected, and some of the families still do not accept the evictions. "Over my dead body. I, for one, am going nowhere." This is the view of Manuela Cortés, a spokesperson for the families.
In a final attempt to stave off the evictions and demolition, a private detective was hired. A report has been sent to the police by this detective. It suggests that there is a relationship between someone in the Balearic government and a commercial centre developer and that there is a further family connection to a person at Palma town hall. The families want the police to check if there is a crime and to expose a potential scam.
Cortés insists that there is no justification for the evictions. "After 45 years of being here, the town hall now treats us like squatters. We have our own bus service, our own school," she says. "What's the benefit here?" she asks ironically.
The town hall took the issue of Son Banya to the courts in 2010. Two years later, the town hall secured 45 eviction orders. In the report sent to the police, it is noted that the town hall didn't act on these until four years later, around the time of the opening of a commercial centre. "No one was concerned about us, and now suddenly all this happens." She and the families believe there is more than just coincidence.
Someone else, Manuela Moreno, thinks that the town hall could stop the evictions if it wanted to. "We don't know where to go. There are children and old people here. They aren't giving us any alternative." On the offer of assistance from the town hall, another spokesperson says: "They'll only give us help on the condition that we kiss their arses and go on a two-month course for 200 euros."
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