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Spain: ‘It’s a summit for vulture funds’ – Activists storm international real estate fair in Barcelona

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Hundreds of activists rallied outside ‘The District’, an international real estate fair in Barcelona on Wednesday, denouncing housing shortages, forced evictions and the cost of living crisis.

Organisers had to delay the opening ceremony of the event as roughly 300 demonstrators marched across Espana square and forcibly entered the fairgrounds.

Some of the protesters were seen throwing eggs and paint at attendees as they arrived for the real estate fair.

“It is a summit for vulture funds, investors, real estate agents and all these people who are making money out of a common good like housing,” said Diana Virgos, an advocate for universal housing rights. “They’re profiting, and we’re gathered here, delighted to meet each other, and celebrating how much money they’re earning.”

Police in riot gear were called in to quell the protests, guarding the entrance to the fairgrounds and removing the protesters who had entered.

According to organisers, over 7,000 real estate professionals and investors are expected to attend the three-day fair, which will feature over 380 speakers.

Housing prices in Barcelona have skyrocketed in 2022, significantly outpacing Spain’s yearly inflation of 8.9 per cent.

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