En Portada shows the eviction plot in Warsaw.
Around 40,000 tenants have been evicted, after the ownership shift towards private equity.
Affected tenants called it “wild re-privatization”. They describe where intimidation from the new owners can reach.
In Warsaw, thousands of tenants have been evicted from their homes, after the building they lived in, publicly-owned, changed to private hands. Many of them are living real nightmares: some of the new owners push them with an exaggerated rate of rental or even with intimidation and harassment for them to quit their so they can sell or rent those apartment at a higher price. Many of the victims tell us the torment they are going through for several years now.
Tenants, activists and some institutions denounce a process they call “wild re-privatization”, pointing to unscrupulous owners and a “mafia” that uses all kind of extortion to force the evacuation of those who resist to leave and to silence all critic voices that raise against them.
Different NGOs and journalist in defense of residents have uncovered the shady connections between some civil servants from the town hall of Warsaw and big real estate investors entangled in this re-privatization process. The District Attorney’s Office and the Anticorruption Central Office have already carried out some arrests and they keep investigating a possible corruption plot.
This re-privatization process started in Poland with the arrival of Democracy in 1989. Warsaw was practically destroyed after WWII and the communist regime set quickly the reconstruction in motion and the nationalization of properties. During the last couple of decades, the former owners have started to claim ownership over those public-owned assets. The absence of a previous legislation and the control by the local authorities have carried to evictions and the defenseless of around 40,000 citizens, only in the Polish capital.