[Marxism] Spain: Housing rights win as Popular Party buckles

David P Á david at miradoiro.com
Mon Feb 18 02:15:42 MST 2013


I'll be the first to admit I'm surprised that the popular initiative on 
datio in solutum (I really don't know how to express this well in 
English) passed the first stage of debate in the Parliament. That said, 
I don't think it likely that it will ultimately be adopted, but I've 
been wrong before.

The party system in Spain has effectively perfect discipline. One can 
simply count the sitters for each particular party and determine the 
voting results, for practically all votes. So with PP having far more 
than an absolute majority, I don't see how it will pass. One thing is to 
admit debating it, another thing is to adopt the initiative.

The most problematic (from their viewpoint) part of the initiative lies 
in the issue of retroactivity. There are many mortgages that have been 
entered to that are going to end up in the hands of nationalised or 
semi-nationalised banks. Even those which don't, will be backed, in some 
measure, by the banking bailout package passed by the EU, which passes 
through state hands first as to constitute part of public debt. This 
means that, for (almost) every case where a mortgage is unpaid, the 
state will incur liabilities. The PP has also been complaining that this 
could cause a so-called "incentive effect", whereby debtors wilfully 
refuse to pay in order to get the social rent provisions. I find this 
somewhat fantastic myself: a person or family who are still capable of 
paying are going to try to keep doing so to avoid losing all their 
previous investment.

--David.





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