PP under pressure to vote in favor of popular initiative to stem evictions

Ruling party’s response to Tuesday’s vote in Congress will be a “polite no”

The ruling Popular Party’s response in Congress on Tuesday to a vote on popular legislative initiative organized by the Mortgage Victims Platform (PAH) to stem a flood of foreclosures and evictions will be a “polite no,” PP sources said Monday.

The PAH garnered 1.5 million signatures in favor of the initiative, which calls for a retroactive freeze in evictions, the enshrinement in the law of dation in payment, whereby handing over the keys of a foreclosed home to the bank would be sufficient to cancel the mortgage on it, and the creation of a pool of social housing for those who lose their homes.

Despite the expected snub from the party of government, the PAH intends to put pressure on PP lawmakers up to the last minute in an effort to make them change their minds and vote with the rest of the parties in the lower house in accepting the initiative. “If the PP turns a deaf ear to a million signatures, then there’s no democracy in Spain, the spokeswoman for the PAH, Ada Colau, said in an interview with EL PAÍS.

The main opposition Socialist Party, the groups making up the Plural Left, the Catalan Republic left (ERC), the center-right Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) and the Galician BNG nationalist party have all indicated they will vote in favor of the initiative. The PP has an absolute majority in the lower house.

Colau said in her appearance before the congressional committee on the economy last Wednesday that PAH would inform the public of everyone who votes against. “Wherever they go, in their neighborhoods, work, or during public acts […] we will point them out so that it is known, with names and surnames, who is responsible for the suffering of the people,” she told EL PAÍS.

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