Amsterdam: Action at SNS bank. No subsidy for empty buildings

Monday, February 11, 2013

Friday February the 1st the SNS bank was nationalised. When we are continuously told that there is no money and that cuts to public services are necessary it turns out that there is still 3.7 billion euro left to save a bank and its extensive real estate portfolio. For years trees grew to the sky and no building project was too much for SNS. Now tax payers have to pay the bill for the loss of the real estate sector when we have seen none of the profits. Above all this, it is ridiculous that the new CEO will be “earning” more than a half million a year. Nationalisation in this case means the state is subsidising the bank and it will soon be back to the order of the day. The few chairmen and real estate investors who have gotten rich in the past few years will go scot free. The wealth they have accumulated through the years should be forwarded back. But this is not enough. Nationalisation should also mean that we get control over the bank. This means that unoccupied office space should be converted to affordable housing and student dorms. In Amsterdam alone more than 10 million square meters, 20% of the total, is vacant.

With this creative protest we demand that:– The vacant buildings from the SNS real estate portfolio will be converted to affordable housing and student dorms
– There will be an investigation into the Dutch real estate sector: which companies and people profit from this vacancy?
– Top salaries and bonuses/benefits of the past years will be paid back to the tax payer and that the new CEO turns in his salary of a half million

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