Mortgage activists to use EU court ruling in their fight to stop evictions

Fallout continues from statements by PP official linking PAH to ETA Platform officials were not at any pro-prisoner rally as some suggest

Ada Colau, right, spokeswoman for PAH speaks at a demonstration in front of the Barcelona courthouse on Tuesday.
Ada Colau, right, spokeswoman for PAH speaks at a demonstration in front of the Barcelona courthouse on Tuesday.Alejandro García (EFE)

The Mortgage Victims Platform (PAH) announced on Tuesday that it would embark on an intensive campaign to stop people from being kicked out of their homes across Spain using a recent decision by the European Court of Justice as its legal weapon.

Ada Colau, the spokesperson for the group, announced the new initiative in Barcelona, where dozens of supporters gathered to also lend their support in the face of recent accusations by the Popular Party (PP) that she and some in PAH have supported figures linked to terrorist group ETA.

“Once again the platform is doing work that the government should be doing, which is to stop the illegal eviction proceedings that violate fundamental rights,” Colau said.

PP leaders came out in support on Tuesday of the central government delegate in Madrid, Cristina Cifuentes, who on Monday made the accusations that Colau and others from PAH backed radical Basque nationalist parties Bildu and Sortu, as well as “other groups, which as I see it, have a lot to do with those connected to ETA.”

Death threats

Colau, who claims to have received death threats since Cifuentes’ remarks were aired on the radio, said she was filing a defamation suit.

Rafael Hernando, the PP deputy spokesman in Congress, said that PAH is trying to stir up “a radical left that favors using violence and will attempt to do as it has in the past.” He was specifically referring to alleged verbal harassment by some PAH members against PP lawmakers in the streets. One deputy from Asturias, Carmen Maniega, filed a police complaint after she claimed that PAH representatives shouted obscenities in Oviedo.

“The problem is that verbal lynching can quickly transform into physical lynching,” Hernando said.

Cifuentes was probably basing her opinion on a January 12 rally held in Bilbao by leftist nationalist groups in favor of bringing ETA prisoners to the Basque Country to serve out their sentences. Groups such as Aspakena, Bai Euskal Herriari, Euskal Herriko Bildune Feminista, Herria 2000 and M15 Vizcaya were present, as were representatives from Stop Bizkaia Evictions.

The group, which is not affiliated with PAH, was present at the demonstration because it believed it was an event where members could publicly call attention to the eviction issue, said spokeswoman Marta Uriarte.

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