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Anti-evictions lobby to harass ombudsman

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Anti-evictions lobby to harass ombudsman
The group headed by Ada Colau (pictured above) is promoting the pestering campaign on their own website as well as on oiga.me. Photo: Quique García/AFP
17:58 CEST+02:00
Spain's anti-eviction lobby, the PAH, has called on supporters to bombard the public defender's office with telephone calls until the organization supports their cause in the country's constitutional court.

La Plataforma de Afectados por las Hipotecas, as it is known in Spanish, has provided the phone number of Soledad Becerril – Spain’s Public Defender- as a means of putting pressure on her to support their anti-evictions law in the Constitutional Court.

The group headed by Ada Colau is promoting the pestering campaign on their own website as well as on oiga.me, a site which hosts sponsored campaigns in the same way as change.org.

Becerril’s backing would allow the PAH to present their appeal in the Constitutional Court against the governing Popular Party’s “unconstitutional”  evictions law, rather than having to obtain fifty signatures from members of the Spanish Parliament.

It’s not the first time the group’s somewhat extreme methods have been called into question.

The PAH has previously employed escraches, which involve the direct targeting of politicians' homes and offices to put even greater pressure on them.

Last April, the Spanish government enacted a two-year moratorium on evictions for any family in circumstances of “extreme necessity” after a spate of suicides across Spain.

But the PAH is still calling for an end to all forced evictions in Spain and more social housing. 

At present, many of the homeowners who have been evicted from their property in Spain are still required to pay off the remainder of their mortgage. 

Current laws in Spain allow for this debt to be cancelled as long as creditors and debtors have made a prior agreement.

Changes brought in in March also mean the country's judges have discretionary powers to stop evictions if they believe any of the clauses in the mortgage contract are "abusive".

But the PAH continues to fight for dation in payment to be applicable in all eviction cases in Spain, the chief reason behind their latest pressure campaign.

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