Andalusian government coalition splits over housing row

The Izquierda Unida party has “suspended” the coalition with the PSOE party until President Diaz retracts the withdrawal of power issued today.

Diaz yesterday withdraw housing rights from the IU Minister for Housing after she handed out free homes to a bunch of squatter evicted from the Corralia Utopía.

The IU had a party meeting today in which they decided to “suspend” the coalition until the rights are returned to the Minister. The minister in question, Elena Cortes, has nipped off on a state visit to Colombia.

“The President has opened a crisis in the Andalusian government” warned IU -A leader Antonio Maillo. “Our attitude towards the giving of free homes [to the Utopía lot] has been impeccable, it is the PSOE who are forcing this issue. If they return the rights to the Minister in question the coalition will reform and continue as before”.

The PSOE had earlier said that 10,000 families are on the waiting list for free homes in Andalusia, and they weren’t going to start letting people jump the queue just because they were in the media spotlight.

The communists (IU) are coming in for a lot of flack over their handling of the issue, with most people agreeing with the PSOE official statement that people shouldn’t jump the waiting list. However, the IU continues to insist that what they did was “legal, justifiable and reasonable”.

It looks as if Elena Cortes tried to grab a bit of free publicity by handing out the keys to a dozen government owned social housing flats to the families forcibly evicted from Corralia Utopia earlier this week, but it’s backfired.

President Diaz has her hands tied, as under the terms of the coalition government under which she runs Andalusia, she can’t remove the Minister in question. Instead, she took the unprecedented step of removing the Housing Ministers rights to assign Houses.

Meaning that Cortes now has nothing to do other than look for more expat owned houses to knock down.

Currently, from what I can see, we now have two separate political parties running the joint, with different ideas and political goals. The PP is twisting the knife by demanding to know what is happening, and hinting that the best thing to do is either form a new coalition with them, or call early elections.

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