27 May 2015 – El Confidencial Digital
The candidate for mayor of Madrid distances herself from Podemos and says that she will not apply the measure that Teresa Rodríguez imposed on Susana Díaz.
The greatest triumph of Podemos in the municipal elections held on 24 May has been the opportunity to become the mayor of the largest city in Spain. However, Manuela Carmena will govern Madrid without implementing one of the most controversial measures proposed by the party led by Pablo Iglesias.
It was after the elections in Andalucía when Podemos launched the headline-grabbing idea: to sever ties with the banks that force the eviction (of families) from homes with mortgages that the owners cannot pay.
The leader and regional candidate, Teresa Rodríguez, proposed this measure during talks with Susana Díaz to negotiate a possible agreement to allow the inauguration of the socialist as President of the Regional Government. Firstly, she demanded that the Andalucían Government should not work with banks that carry out evictions and next, she reduced the condition to require that the Government should not hold accounts with financial institutions that evict those unable to pay their mortgages.
After proposing this measure, several municipal candidates supported by Podemos for the May 24 elections included in their electoral program, or at least declared in public, their commitment to severing ties with banks involved in evictions.
Negotiations with the banks and non-retaliation
However, Confidencial Digital has learned that this measure will not be applied by the candidate who will govern Madrid’s town hall, given that Ahora Madrid did not include this idea in its election manifesto.
Sources close to the candidacy of Manuela Carmena confirm that this measure is not included in her election manifesto and therefore, she does not plan to apply it if she ends up ruling the municipal government of Spain’s capital.
“Ahora Madrid is committed to stopping evictions”, says the electoral manifesto of the municipal brand of Podemos for these elections. Below, it details a series of proposals that the town hall will undertake to avoid evicting people from primary residences and, in the event that they do take place, to offer an alternatives for evicted families.
Nevertheless, at no time does it mention “non-retaliation” against the banks that carry out evictions. Carmena’s manifesto includes only, amongst other measures, incentives for use to be made of empty homes held by the financial institutions or the “bad bank” (Sareb), through agreements whereby the homes are transferred to the public stock of housing for use in the rental scheme.
Other Podemos candidates do support the measure
It is noteworthy that the candidacy of Ahora Madrid is distancing itself from one of the measures that, after being proposed by Teresa Rodríguez in Andalucía, was supported by many of the candidates that stood in the municipal elections, with the support of Podemos.
That is the case in Sevilla, where Participa Sevilla publicly committed that, if it was elected to the Town Hall, the Sevilla government would not work with banks that evict (people). Its candidate for mayor, Susana Serrano, even asserted that “it is inconsistent that the money from evicted families is held in the same banks that evicts them”.
Participa Sevilla will be key to enabling the socialist Juan Espadas to take the capital of Andalucía from the Popular candidate Juan Igancio Zoido. But the proposals made by the candidates supported by Podemos are more noteworthy; furthermore, they have won the elections and, presumably, will govern the town halls.
In La Coruña, Marea Atlántica – which won four more votes than the second ranked party, the PP – intends to apply the “cancelation of balances with banking institutions that carry out evictions”. Meanwhile, Barcelona En Comú, which has won with Ada Colau as the leader, is going to study measures to put pressure on the banks that do not negotiate with the town hall to put a stop to the evictions: including, “putting a stop to trading with the banking entities in question” and imposing sanctions on those banks.
Original story: El Confidencial Digital
Translation: Carmel Drake