• Spain's news in English

Spain's anti-evictions lobby wins EU prize

George Mills · 6 Jun 2013, 16:46

Published: 06 Jun 2013 16:46 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The PAH received a European Citizens' prize for its work in "fighting for European values," Spanish media reported on Thursday.

The group, headed by Barcelona activist Ada Colau, defends people in Spain who are facing forced evictions from their homes because of an ability to meet their mortgage payments.

The candidature of the PAH was put forward by two Greens Eurodeputies in  Raül Romeva and Ana Miranda and by the United Left (IU) Eurodeputy Willy Meyer.  
The European Parliament said the PAH  has been selected among 41 candidates from 21 European countries.

The jury for the prize was made up of the Vice Presidents of the European Union Anni Podimata and Othmar Karasel and by the Ex-presidents of the European Parliament Hans-Gert Pöttering and Enrique Barón Crespo.

Also on the jury was the President of the European Youth Forum Peter Matjasic.

According to the Parliament, the prize will be handed over in a ceremony in Brussels in October.

The awarding of the prize may surprise some in Spain as the tactics of the PAH have raised controversy in this country.

Most controversially, the PAH have made use of so-called "escraches". These escraches involve the direct targeting of politicians' homes and offices to put greater pressure on them to change policies. 

In Spain, the protests have seen demonstators placing stickers on the doors of ruling Popular Party (PP) politicians or chanting slogans outside their offices.

"We don’t like to carry out escraches but they've left us with no other choice,” PAH lawyer Manuel San Pastor told The Local in April.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has repeatedly called the escraches "undemocratic" while the the Secretary-General of the ruling Popular Party María Dolores de Cospedal labelled "escraches" as “pure Nazism”.
The PAH rose to prominence in January this year when Colau the head of the lobby condemned Spain's banking community in the country's Parliament.
Story continues below…

George Mills (news@thelocal.ch)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Spain's Rajoy says king has tasked him with forming govt
Photo: AFP

Spain's king on Tuesday tasked Mariano Rajoy with forming a government, taking the acting conservative prime minister a step closer to power again after a 10-month political deadlock.

Two imams arrested in Ibiza resort over 'Isis support'
The men were arrested in the resort of Sant Antoni de Portmany. Photo: Jose A / Flickr

Two Moroccan imams at a mosque on the Spanish resort island of Ibiza were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of backing the Islamic State group and inciting jihad.

Balearic Islands choose to keep summertime forever
The islands will have longer evenings during winter. Photo: AFP

The Balearic Islands want to keep summertime when the rest of Spain turns the clocks back on Sunday.

  Brazilian had 'uncontrollable desire to kill': Spain police
Francois Patrick Nogueira Gouveia has been charged with murdering his uncle, his wife and their two children. Photo: Guardia Civil.

A Brazilian teenager accused of dismembering his uncle and aunt and killing their two young sons in a grisly crime that shocked Spain had an "uncontrollable desire to kill", police said on Monday.

Man rescued from bin after climbing in to find old clothes
Photo: Policía Local Murcia

Police were called after passersby reported hearing a man calling for help from within a rubbish bin in the Vistabella neighbourhood of Murcia, southern Spain.

Spain faces crucial week as conservatives re-take power
Mariano Rajoy hopes to form a government this week. Photo: AFP

Spain entered a crucial week as acting conservative PM Mariano Rajoy prepared to re-take power, ending ten rollercoaster months without government marked by hope and disillusion.

Eight very creepy Halloween costumes ideas from Spain
Photo: Pan's Labyrinth

Forget flamenco dancers and bullfighters, The Local counts down the freakiest alternative costume ideas to dress up in this Halloween.

Man attacked by racist thug in UK street for talking Spanish

Tomas Gil, 27, from Valencia in eastern Spain was talking to his girlfriend in their native language after a night out in the British seaside town of Poole when he was set upon by a racist thug.

Malaga: Police probe bizarre 'sex death' of homeless Brit
The man was found near Malaga airport. Photo: Dennis Howlett / Flickr

A British homeless man was found dead tied to a bench near Malaga airport with his trousers down and his genitals in a can of tuna.

Clock ticking as Spain races to avoid third elections
Third elections could now be avoided. Photo: AFP

Spain's Socialists voted on Sunday to allow the conservatives to take power, likely averting a third election for Spaniards tired of going to the polls.

Analysis & Opinion
Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Spanish 'La Mafia' restaurants banned after Italian complaint
Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Hunt launched for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Napflix: Spaniards launch very boring TV channel for siestas
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
jobs available