Constitutional Court Temporarily Supends Basque Housing Law

18 April 2016 – Cinco Días

The Constitutional Court (TC) has admitted the appeal filed by the central Government against the Basque Housing Law, which provides for the temporary expropriation of homes by banks, amongst other measures, and has suspended it as a precautionary measure whilst it decides whether or not it complies with the Constitution.

The Government filed an appeal of unconstitutionality against the Basque Housing Law, which, in addition to the aforementioned measure, makes provisions for other initiatives, such as the imposition of a fee on empty homes and the recognition of the subjective right to a home, which will be enforceable in court.

The Basque Parliament approved the Housing Law in June 2015, following lobbying by PSE and with the support of EH Bildu and UPyD. It was rejected by the PP and the PNV. In its appeal, Mariano Rajoy’s Government requested that the admission procedure for the law be temporarily suspended until the substance of the matter has been resolved, as it is allowed to do under the Organic Law of the TC.

The court of guarantees issued a ruling in which it declared the appeal admissible and suspended the law, which does not determine the final outcome, but rather grants a period of five months, which may be renewed, during which time the aforementioned law will not apply and a decision can be taken regarding its future.

In its acceptance and suspension ruling, the TC announced that it will transfer the file “to the Congress of Representatives and the Senate, through their respective Presidents, as well as the Basque Government and Basque Parliament, through their respective Presidents, so that they can make an appearance and formulate the allegations that they deem appropriate, within a period of fifteen days.

Original story: Cinco Días

Translation: Carmel Drake

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