This is a recognition for the almost 1.5 million citizens who signed in favour of this initiative, for the social mobilization, and for the thousands of people who have lost their homes, when not also their lives. EAPN Spain will continue to fight for this law to be enforced and generally to find real solutions to the severe housing problems that people, especially to the most vulnerable, have to cope with in Spain.
Read more on EAPN Spain website.
See also photos here (on Facebook).
Message from Carlos Susias and Graciela Margesini, EAPN Spain:
On January 21st, EAPN Spain, as part of a big alliance with many grassroots organizations, presented 1,500,000 signatures (tripling the mandatory figure of 500,000) as part of a participative citizenship action called ILP, in order to make the Congress reform the Mortgage Law.
This process called the ILP (Popular Legislative Initiative) is the only way citizens have to impulse law proposals at the Congress. There is only one precedent case, in 1999, when this mechanism really got to work.
Many citizens committed suicide before their foreclosures in the last months. Nicolás, Amaya and Francisco José were some of their names. Francisco Javier even left a message in Youtube explaining that he was on the edge, and could not go further, before killing himself.
The date for the Parliamentary debate was set for February 12th, in the evening. What follows is the description of the key moments we experienced during that historical day:
All signals are very poor, as the PP (the ruling party), clearly against and having a safe majority, is willing to dismiss the admissibility of the initiative. That is, the PP not only opposes the content of the proposal, they are also against that it could be debated in Congress.
The Popular Party announces they are not going to admit the Popular Legislative Initiative. Allegedly, it is because they have already introduced a “similar proposal”, which is going to be debated. (The truth is that their law proposal only touches the surface of the issue and leave the families at their fate, without touching its core).
Breaking news. Catalina and Pedro, two pensioners in Mallorca, decided to commit suicide, leaving a note which explained they could not pay their mortgage debt (euro 65,000) and could not cope with the imminent eviction.
The Popular Party announces they have changed their mind and that are going to vote in favour of admitting the ILP to be debated in the Congress.
The voting board was covered with green lights!
Outburst of joy and relief in the streets of downtown Madrid. This procedure means that evictions are going to stop, at least until the Law is passed.
Other big steps are to follow. The process has just started; it looks very intense and difficult, as this law proposal may have a direct impact on the Banks assets (or so they claim)
Two days later, the Congress spokesman announced an agreement between the ruling party and the main opposition party to initiate an emergency procedure on the issue of evictions.
Although a first step, we are very happy for what this may mean, for the strong commitment of our partners in Catalunya and other regions who gathered at least one third of the signatures, and we wanted to share this with you.
Carlos Susías and Graciela Malgesini,