The reality of the Spanish government's decision to release homes managed by the bad bank Sareb is somewhat different to the fanfare that greeted the announcement.
Sareb, the bank formed by the government to manage the assets of banks that were nationalised during the financial crisis, will not merely be handing these properties over for regional governments like the Balearics to use for social renting. They will have to be paid for. Moreover, and in the case of the Balearics, only 120 properties of the 447 that Sareb has on the islands are currently earmarked for transfer to the Balearic government.
There is the possibility for an agreement to acquire all 447, but for now the number is 120, these being properties which are, according to Sareb, in a habitable condition; they could be used almost immediately.
Balearic government spokesperson Iago Negueruela has indicated that the government is willing to buy homes offered by Sareb, regardless of their condition of habitability. The government will rehabilitate homes that are in a poor condition.
Formal approval of the measure to transfer Sareb properties was given at Tuesday's cabinet meeting, following which the minister for economic affairs, Nadia Calviño, explained that there is also land that Sareb manages which can be used to build homes for social renting. It hasn't as yet been specified what this might mean in terms of the number of homes in the Balearics.
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