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Discussion Starter #1
Manuela Carmona is the mayor of Madrid after securing the backing of the socialists Manuela Carmena, leftist ex-judge now Madrid mayor

Ada Colau is Mayor of Barcelona
Elecciones 24M: Colau se compromete a “levantar alfombras� en el Ayuntamiento | Cataluña | EL PA�S

Valencia
http://news.yahoo.com/photos/valenc...s-delivers-speech-during-photo-141620566.html

Which doesn't mean to say that
The face of Spanish politics is going to change from now on (not for the moment at least) :)
That the PP wasn't the most voted party

But it does mean that some new blood has entered the political scene.

Give them room to breathe, water and light and they may thrive :)
 

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I first must confess a certain amount of ignorance. But, these seem to me to be protest votes based on the inability of the PSOE and PP to grow employment and the paychecks of everyday Spaniards. Exactly what is Podemos going to do in Madrid that will improve life for everyday citizens? For whatever that would be, on what basis is it likely to succeed? (I'm pretty much apolitical, I'm just asking what is the plan looking into the future)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I first must confess a certain amount of ignorance. But, these seem to me to be protest votes based on the inability of the PSOE and PP to grow employment and the paychecks of everyday Spaniards. Exactly what is Podemos going to do in Madrid that will improve life for everyday citizens? For whatever that would be, on what basis is it likely to succeed? (I'm pretty much apolitical, I'm just asking what is the plan looking into the future)
Carmena's (I misspelt her name above) first 100 days will be focussed on the disadvantaged.
1. Stop evictions
2. Stop privatization of public services
3. Guarantee the supply of water and electricity to all including those in economic difficulties
4. Guarantee access to healthcare whatever the administrative situation of the person
5. Devise an employment plan for the young unemployed
Las principales medidas del programa de Ahora Madrid liderado por Manuela Carmena
I'm not sure if these are the most pressing issues in the capital, but it will be good to see money and time being spent on those that need it, instead of the time being spent on devising new and better ways for the money to end up in mainstream politicians' secret bank accounts!

There is a mountain of information about these people in the press if you are interested so just Google the name + electoral programme. There is also el País in English and the BBC if you want info in English and today I think the Sunday papers will be full of it.

PS This about Ada Colau's programme
Las medidas urgentes del programa de Ada Colau con Barcelona en Comú
 

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I've asked before how any politician of any Party can stop evictions.
It's far too soon to judge outcomes and after four years of government by any Party very little will have changed and few promises will have been fulfilled.
No national government, let alone regional or municipal government, has much power to solve or even make a start on solving the very many urgent problems. To make even a start, huge sums of public money are needed and it just isn't available.
One thing noticeable from the policy platforms of the 'alternative' Parties is a set of realisable proposals for funding their promises, apart from far left Teresa Rodriguez in Andalucia who spoke of appropriating private bank accounts. She is obviously ignorant of the fact that money can be moved to 'kinder' jurisdictions at the stroke of a keyboard these days - as shown by the massive capital flight from Greece.
Someone somewhere promised to 'abolish poverty'.....
Please do not think that my outlook means I am happy with the way things are. I'm not. But I am a realist and one thing that we should all consider is the harm that can be done to any democratic process when expectations go unfulfilled and disillusion sets in.

Until national governments have control over their own finances there is very little that can be done that doesn't satisfy the global financial markets and the credit rating agencies.
Real question is, how can that be brought about?
 

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Incidentally, Carmena isn't affiliated to Podemos, as I understand it, she is merely part of a coalition. She has repudiated some of Podemos' positions, such as not working with banks that carry out evictions.

I'm curious about the feasibility of these coalitions/pacts. In Marbella, a coalition of four Parties, with very disparate aims, has ousted the PP Mayor who leads the single largest Party and installed a PSOE Mayor.
In many municipalities Podemos and similar groupings have enabled PSOE, which it has condemned as part of La Casta, to take power.
I can't see many of these coalitions lasting more than a couple of months, tbh.
I'm pleased that there's a PSOE Mayor in Marbella and pleased that Susana Diaz is finally installed as Presidenta of Andalucia, with the help of CCs.
But I have a sense of unease....
Perhaps it's just because of my British political background of rule by majority....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Incidentally, Carmena isn't affiliated to Podemos, as I understand it, she is merely part of a coalition. She has repudiated some of Podemos' positions, such as not working with banks that carry out evictions.

I'm curious about the feasibility of these coalitions/pacts. In Marbella, a coalition of four Parties, with very disparate aims, has ousted the PP Mayor who leads the single largest Party and installed a PSOE Mayor.
In many municipalities Podemos and similar groupings have enabled PSOE, which it has condemned as part of La Casta, to take power.
I can't see many of these coalitions lasting more than a couple of months, tbh.
I'm pleased that there's a PSOE Mayor in Marbella and pleased that Susana Diaz is finally installed as Presidenta of Andalucia, with the help of CCs.
But I have a sense of unease....
Perhaps it's just because of my British political background of rule by majority....
Carmena has always tried to make it clear that Ahora Madrid is not Podemos

I too have a "sense of unease" as I can't see how some of these "teams" can move forward, but still I'm happy that there have been some changes, that some oldies have been made to take a back seat and let's see how the new shape up
 

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1. Stop evictions
2. Stop privatization of public services
3. Guarantee the supply of water and electricity to all including those in economic difficulties
4. Guarantee access to healthcare whatever the administrative situation of the person
5. Devise an employment plan for the young unemployed


Thinking about that list of 'priorities':
2, 4 and 5 should indeed imo be priorities, although stopping privatisation doesn't rule out new ways of delivering efficient public services that whilst ensuring public control and ownership don't necessarily entail public delivery. Franchising to private contractors with guaranteed service delivery agreements of high quality built into contracts is one way of delivery. Most important is quality control.
But 1 and 3 are open to question. As I said before, if a court issues an eviction order, how can- or should - a Mayor of any city or town block that order? I've read of plans to stop police attending at evictions. This can't be serious. If as is almost guaranteed protestors try to stop evictions and prevent bailiffs carrying out legal warrants, who is going to prevent the ensuing civil disorder? Is the Mayor going to countenance mob rule?
Then there's the question of 'moral hazard'. If no-one is going to be evicted, why pay your mortgage, even if you can?? Who will investigate reasons for non-paying? Will this non-eviction be applied only to bank-owned properties? Even if this were the case, does it mean that due process no longer counts?
Much of the same applies to 3. If your supply of basic utilities is guaranteed, why pay the bills, even if you can?
The way to try to prevent evictions is surely to negotiate a viable repayment programme but where this just isn't possible, what, realistically, can be done?
Of course the obvious course is to provide affordable quality housing but again, this needs to be costed and funded.
It will be interesting to see how these unavoidable issues will be dealt with, under the harsh constraints of what is possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
1. Stop evictions
2. Stop privatization of public services
3. Guarantee the supply of water and electricity to all including those in economic difficulties
4. Guarantee access to healthcare whatever the administrative situation of the person
5. Devise an employment plan for the young unemployed


Thinking about that list of 'priorities':
2, 4 and 5 should indeed imo be priorities, although stopping privatisation doesn't rule out new ways of delivering efficient public services that whilst ensuring public control and ownership don't necessarily entail public delivery. Franchising to private contractors with guaranteed service delivery agreements of high quality built into contracts is one way of delivery. Most important is quality control.
But 1 and 3 are open to question. As I said before, if a court issues an eviction order, how can- or should - a Mayor of any city or town block that order? I've read of plans to stop police attending at evictions. This can't be serious. If as is almost guaranteed protestors try to stop evictions and prevent bailiffs carrying out legal warrants, who is going to prevent the ensuing civil disorder? Is the Mayor going to countenance mob rule?
Then there's the question of 'moral hazard'. If no-one is going to be evicted, why pay your mortgage, even if you can?? Who will investigate reasons for non-paying? Will this non-eviction be applied only to bank-owned properties? Even if this were the case, does it mean that due process no longer counts?
Much of the same applies to 3. If your supply of basic utilities is guaranteed, why pay the bills, even if you can?
The way to try to prevent evictions is surely to negotiate a viable repayment programme but where this just isn't possible, what, realistically, can be done?
Of course the obvious course is to provide affordable quality housing but again, this needs to be costed and funded.
It will be interesting to see how these unavoidable issues will be dealt with, under the harsh constraints of what is possible.
Well, I'm not sure what criteria is applied to the no evection policy because just as there are people who have every intention of paying and have been given abusive conditions by banks there are of course the dihonest who just want to jump on the stop eviction bandwagon.
But I do very much agree with especially 2 and 5 for example.
 

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Oh dear...

El equipo de Carmena, envuelto en su primera polémica: comentarios antisemitas de su concejal de Cultura

Guillermo Zapata ha justificado como "humor *****" chistes como éste: "¿Cómo meterías a cinco millones de judíos en un 600? En el cenicero". Además, escribió sobre una víctima de ETA: "Han tenido que cerrar el cementerio de Alcásser para que Irene Villa no vaya a por repuestos
 

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But 1 and 3 are open to question. As I said before, if a court issues an eviction order, how can- or should - a Mayor of any city or town block that order? I've read of plans to stop police attending at evictions. This can't be serious. If as is almost guaranteed protestors try to stop evictions and prevent bailiffs carrying out legal warrants, who is going to prevent the ensuing civil disorder? Is the Mayor going to countenance mob rule?
Then there's the question of 'moral hazard'. If no-one is going to be evicted, why pay your mortgage, even if you can?? Who will investigate reasons for non-paying? Will this non-eviction be applied only to bank-owned properties? Even if this were the case, does it mean that due process no longer counts?
Much of the same applies to 3. If your supply of basic utilities is guaranteed, why pay the bills, even if you can?
.


I have to agree with you, Mary. If people can't pay their mortgages or utility bills, is the Ayuntamiento proposing to pay them for them, or just prevent private entities from evicting them or cutting off supplies, just letting debts mount up? Just like anywhere else, there is a percentage of the Spanish population who would be content never to work if the basic necessities of life were supplied free. A good many people around here already have "free" access to both electricity and water because they have bypassed the meters and in some cases the houses have had the meters removed for non-payment, but they still have power and water. Nobody ever seems to check up on them, and it is galling for the neighbours who do pay their bills, especially when those who don't have cars, TVs, smartphones, smoke and drink, etc.
 

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I have to agree with you, Mary. If people can't pay their mortgages or utility bills, is the Ayuntamiento proposing to pay them for them, or just prevent private entities from evicting them or cutting off supplies, just letting debts mount up? Just like anywhere else, there is a percentage of the Spanish population who would be content never to work if the basic necessities of life were supplied free. A good many people around here already have "free" access to both electricity and water because they have bypassed the meters and in some cases the houses have had the meters removed for non-payment, but they still have power and water. Nobody ever seems to check up on them, and it is galling for the neighbours who do pay their bills, especially when those who don't have cars, TVs, smartphones, smoke and drink, etc.
I think one of the most important tasks in politics at whatever level is trying to instil the concept of 'fairness' in policy.
As I see it, fairness isn't the same as equality which is far too abstract a concept to be of any practical use. You didn't actually use that 'f' word but it seems reasonable to assume it's what you meant (I hope:)).
I remember making a speech at TUC in 2004 I think it was, making the case for equalisation of survivor pension benefits for same sex couples. Speakers had droned on about rights, equality and so on and been heard in silence. I described how I had paid into my pension fund for thirty years but were I to be run over by a bus on leaving the Conference Hall, my partner of thirty years would receive not one penny. I ended with the words 'Conference, that's not fair'. I received thunderous applause from the thousand or so ordinary working men and women in the audience.

Fairness matters and unfair treatment is more obvious than inequality. So blanket promises of free electricity and water and no evictions will be perceived by the majority as deeply unfair. It has to be remembered that Carmena did not win anything like a popular mandate and received fewer votes than her truly awful predecessor Aguirre. If she wants a second term she will need to be less free with other people's money.
 

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I'm just glad to see the back of Esperanza Aguirre and Ana Botella and don't have to to see their Botoxed smirks every time I turn on the TV. Manuela Carmena and Ada Colau look and sound like normal ordinary people.

It has been pointed out that you can now walk from Cadiz to Barcelona without treading on PP soil.

 

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I think one of the most important tasks in politics at whatever level is trying to instil the concept of 'fairness' in policy.
As I see it, fairness isn't the same as equality which is far too abstract a concept to be of any practical use. You didn't actually use that 'f' word but it seems reasonable to assume it's what you meant (I hope:)).
Yes, I suppose I do mean it wouldn't be fair. Another problem with the people who don't pay for electricity or water is that they feel no need to restrict how much they use - if they don't have to pay for it, why would they? The ones near me who don't pay for water waste gallons of the stuff every day by washing down the street in front of their houses with hosepipes (sending the muck further down to outside other people's houses who do pay for their water, which as you may imagine makes them even less well-liked), emptying out their children's inflatable paddling and swimming pools into the street every night in the summer and letting all the water run down the street then refilling them.

I am rather torn, really. If there is no work for over four million people, then on the one hand I don't want to see them homeless and living in abject poverty. On the other hand, I don't want to see a large welfare-dependant underclass develop, with the resultant social problems, either.

Perhaps a better solution would be more generous benefits for the long term employed, but with checks and balances to make sure people are looking for work and to prevent abuse (from neighbours, I hear that they are already subject to being called in an at hour's notice to present their papers and if they miss the appointment, their benefit is stopped, which I cannot in all honesty object to), but they should have to budget to pay rent and utility bills out of those benefits.
 

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If evictions are halted, as Ayn Rand would ask, "Who pays?" The banks? It's not like the debt and financial consequences just disappear.

I just checked the Podemos website and googled Carmena, and they both have proposals to freeze foreclosures and have the government develop public housing. Apparently, they are citing article 47 of the constitution and saying housing is a right.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Oh dear...

El equipo de Carmena, envuelto en su primera polémica: comentarios antisemitas de su concejal de Cultura


ha justificado como "humor *****" chistes como éste: "¿Cómo meterías a cinco millones de judíos en un 600? En el cenicero". Además, escribió sobre una víctima de ETA: "Han tenido que cerrar el cementerio de Alcásser para que Irene Villa no vaya a por repuestos
Yes, I saw that and to be honest found it shocking, not so much the jews joke but the one about Irene Villa and the girls de Alcasser which if anybody doesn't know is making a joke involving a victim of ETA who had her legs blown off as a child and the truly brutal rape and murder of 3 14 year old girls in Alcasser.
But, the tweets were published in 2011, so the person who found them is kind of raking through the past (although personally I think they are unforgiveable) and Irene Villa has published on her Twitter account
"d verdad q ningún problema. Mi chiste favorito es el q me define comola mujer explosiva:)))"
 

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Yes, I saw that and to be honest found it shocking, not so much the jews joke but the one about Irene Villa and the girls de Alcasser which if anybody doesn't know is making a joke involving a victim of ETA who had her legs blown off as a child and the truly brutal rape and murder of 3 14 year old girls in Alcasser.
But, the tweets were published in 2011, so the person who found them is kind of raking through the past (although personally I think they are unforgiveable) and Irene Villa has published on her Twitter account
"d verdad q ningún problema. Mi chiste favorito es el q me define comola mujer explosiva:)))"
Yes, it was four years ago...but he was an adult. If some right-wing person has committed an indiscretion I have no hesitation in bringing it up......the press routinely trawls through the pasts of people in the public eye looking for that kind of thing.
People who in 2015 are the very souls of moderation but who in 1970 were Communists or Trotskyists get the same treatment, ditto those who belonged to extreme right-wing movements.
That's life.
 

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If evictions are halted, as Ayn Rand would ask, "Who pays?" The banks? It's not like the debt and financial consequences just disappear.

I just checked the Podemos website and googled Carmena, and they both have proposals to freeze foreclosures and have the government develop public housing. Apparently, they are citing article 47 of the constitution and saying housing is a right.
Having a right is an abstraction which becomes concrete only when there are means to make it so. We have rights to travel within Europe but these become reality only if we have the means to buy the ticket.
My gripe with these 'alternative' Parties is that they offer nothing new. On the contrary, much of their programme consists of the stale old recourse to the state to provide. Statism isn't exactly new.
But as we know, states, like banks, have no money of their own. It's public money, taxpayers' and depositors' money. Where do Podemos and these other groups hope to find the funding to make Article 47 actually happen, I wonder...

Iglesias went to Athens and came back spouting empty slogans about the 'politics of hope'. Greece is now in a worse state than before Syriza took power because of its posturing and sheer ineptitude.
Spain should indeed look to Greece, as another post seemed to be suggesting. But I think the conclusions to be drawn should be 'Beware of Greeks (or Spaniards) bearing gifts'.;)
 

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Yes, I suppose I do mean it wouldn't be fair. Another problem with the people who don't pay for electricity or water is that they feel no need to restrict how much they use - if they don't have to pay for it, why would they? The ones near me who don't pay for water waste gallons of the stuff every day by washing down the street in front of their houses with hosepipes (sending the muck further down to outside other people's houses who do pay for their water, which as you may imagine makes them even less well-liked), emptying out their children's inflatable paddling and swimming pools into the street every night in the summer and letting all the water run down the street then refilling them.

I am rather torn, really. If there is no work for over four million people, then on the one hand I don't want to see them homeless and living in abject poverty. On the other hand, I don't want to see a large welfare-dependant underclass develop, with the resultant social problems, either.

Perhaps a better solution would be more generous benefits for the long term employed, but with checks and balances to make sure people are looking for work and to prevent abuse (from neighbours, I hear that they are already subject to being called in an at hour's notice to present their papers and if they miss the appointment, their benefit is stopped, which I cannot in all honesty object to), but they should have to budget to pay rent and utility bills out of those benefits.
Fairness is rarely the most frequently used slogan of any political party. I wonder why....
I fear that neo-liberal free market ideology has done irreparable damage to society. There is so little of the cohesion, the mutuality, the community that was a feature of life before Thatcher.
Nowadays words like 'solidarity' are used so cheaply - raising a clenched fist and shouting 'Solidarity with Cuba/Venezuela/Bolivia or whatever left-wing country isn't my definition of the word. Same with the word 'comrade'. These words once had meaning because they referred to real relationships, developed through years of working and living in communities.
I despair of ever mending the damage done. How do you close the gap between those at the top and those at the bottom? How do you deal with the growing underclass, a huge number of people cut off from mainstream society, such as it is?
How do you rebuild communities when in many places in the UK the 'community' is fragmented into several nationalities with distinct ethnicities, nationalities, cultures and languages?
 

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If evictions are halted, as Ayn Rand would ask, "Who pays?" The banks? It's not like the debt and financial consequences just disappear.

I just checked the Podemos website and googled Carmena, and they both have proposals to freeze foreclosures and have the government develop public housing. Apparently, they are citing article 47 of the constitution and saying housing is a right.
Yes, this is included in the constitution but unlike the UK, local authorities in Spain are not legally obliged to rehouse homeless families.

Seville's new PSOE/Podemos/IU coalition has declared the city an eviction-free zone. Having first ascertained that the defaulters genuinely have no other option, their strategy for achieving this is based on negotiating with the lending institutions to reach an agreement which avoids putting people on the street - e.g. a restructuring of the debt and/or moving them to cheaper properties also owned by the bank.

Banks which do not co-operate will be publicly named and if they proceed with the eviction, the Ayuntamiento may "review its relations with" said bank (i.e. move its accounts elsewhere).

The Policia Local, who are employed by the Ayuntamiento, will not take part in evictions i.e. will not be available to assist the bailiffs or remove protesters.

The detailed plan is currently being drafted. I expect other town halls with anti-eviction promises in their manifestos will do something similar.

PSOE y Participa pactan declarar Sevilla "ciudad libre de desahucios" | España | EL País
 
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