Major rift in Andalusian coalition government over squatter rights

We wake up this morning to hear of a major rift in the Andalusian government that only promises to get worse!

Andalucia is currently governed by a coalition of the left-wing PSOE party and the communist IU party.

“Corrala Utopía” is a block of unsold new flats in Seville that were broken into and occupied by poor families, at the urging of the local communist IU leaders, back in 2012. They proceeded to run the block as a “green commune” with solar panels and the like, and it was all supposed to be very peaceful and a model of sustainability for the poor communist section of Andalucian society that had access to empty flats and a crowbar.

This week a regional court ordered that Corrala Utopía be forcibly evacuated by police and sealed off. The same court urged the local social services to find alternate accommodation for the families. Police promptly moved in and shifted people out. It was peaceful enough by all accounts.

Yesterday, the spokesperson for the Andalusian government said that social services would do what they could but that the ex-okupas of Corrala Utopía were not entitled to jump waiting lists, etc and must enter the system the same as anyone else. “10,000 families across Andalucia are waiting for rehoming and the realities of the situation must be accepted” he warned.

In the afternoon, IU Minister for Housing and Development (ironically enough, the same person in charge of knocking down illegal homes) Elena Cortés personally ordered some flats to be prepared for the families and went around handing out keys to them. 18 “social housing” government owned houses were handed out for free.

President Díaz blew her top by all accounts, and we wake up this morning to find that she has taken away Elena’s powers to control social housing until a full enquiry into her actions can be arranged.

Diaz (l), President of Andalucia (PSOE) and her coalition partner Valderas (IU) in Parliament

The spokesman has been rolled out again to say that “Andalucia strictly enforces the law on social housing, which establishes waiting lists by need and by time of waiting, and there is no right for anyone to magically jump the list simply because of media attention”.

This unprecedented removal of powers from a Minister is already causing waves, with the local IU leaders baying for blood, and by all accounts a major rift in the coalition could be coming up.

Díaz (PSOE) came to power last year after her successor Gríñan was forced out over a misunderstanding about the petty cash, and inherited the PSOE / IU coalition. She also inherited the ministers, and so far hasn’t been able to justify any major reshuffle. This could be her chance…

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