[EDITORIALS]Real people, real sufferingIt is reported that the number of real estate properties auctioned off by the Incheon District Court this year so far has exceeded the number the court sold during the foreign exchange crisis. During the financial crisis in 1997-1998, the court auctioned off around 1,300 properties a month, but the number has increased to 1,700 this year already.
By the end of August, the court put 12,116 properties up for auction, but around 20,400 remain in the queue. What matters is that most of the properties on the auction block are multiple-household houses in the Incheon and Bucheon areas, owned by low-income households. Because of the bad economy, they couldn’t pay back bank loans, and so a large number of such houses were put up for bids.
The auction prices of properties at the courts are lower than market prices. Therefore, the owners of such houses are often left without a penny after they pay back loans.
In some of the auctions ordered by the Incheon District Court, there were many tenants who couldn’t get their deposits returned from their landlords. We are in a situation where our neighbors, taxi drivers and noodle house managers relied on bank loans and ended up losing their own homes.
The sufferings of low-income people are not limited to Incheon and Bucheon. Some time ago, there was a landlord who offered his stores free rent in Jeonju. Since many stores have closed down because of bad business, the owner of the building wanted to save on the costs of managing the building by renting stores for free.
Even though the sufferings of ordinary people grow acute, the government and the governing party show only by their words that they work for the livelihood of the people.
The government plan last month for inducing a soft landing of the construction sector proved to be ineffective. Some 80,000 jobs were lost in the construction sector just last month alone.
A few days ago, the business community offered the Uri Party various ways to make the economic problems a priority. But the leadership of the Uri Party only repeated the importance of market reform and the philosophy of the participatory government.
Moreover, the attention of the political community nowadays is focused on the issue of clarifying history. Ordinary people are losing their livelihoods, while the government fails to perform properly and politicians cling to past events.