Small victory against the Vultures as Carthy welcomes cancellation of vote on EU Directive on non-performing loans
Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has welcomed the announcement that the proposal for a Directive on non-performing loans, which would increase the sale of home loans to vulture funds, will not be voted on by the European Parliament during this mandate. Votes scheduled for the Economic and Monetary Affairs committee this week and the Parliament’s plenary session next week were cancelled today, Tuesday.
Speaking from Brussels, Carthy said: “I am resolutely opposed to this proposal, which will give free rein to vulture funds and debt collectors across the EU. So I welcome the cancellation of the vote on the Directive that was scheduled to take place this week. The cancellation of the vote means that the Parliament cannot adopt a position on this proposal until the next mandate.
“It is my firm view that this proposed Directive needs to be withdrawn. It was proposed on the basis of an impact assessment that took absolutely no regard of the rights of EU citizens such as the right to housing assistance under the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
“It will lead to more evictions, more harassment of homeowners by debt collectors, and more housing stress and homelessness. It is grossly unfair because it puts the blame and the punishment for the 2008 crisis on the shoulders of ordinary families and homeowners instead of the financial institutions that caused the crisis.
“In an Irish context, we have made only limited progress to date in terms of regulating vulture funds and protecting consumers and mortgage-holders – usually in spite of Fine Gael opposition. Yet even this modest progress made in the Dáil, such as on ensuring direct Central Bank regulation of the vulture funds instead of only the middlemen, will now be under threat by this EU Directive.
“The process by which this package – the Regulation and Directive – have been dealt with in the Economic and Monetary Affairs committee has been extremely disappointing, with the two largest groups, the EPP and S&D, colluding to prevent the smaller groups from having a meaningful say in shaping the reports. On the Regulation, they prevented us from even voting on the amendments of the smaller groups at committee level.
“The proposed timeframe for the more substantial Directive was unacceptably short, and was deliberately designed by the two large groups to exclude the rest of the Parliament from having meaningful input into the Directive. This is an appalling and anti-democratic approach to such a crucial proposal – another reason why I welcome the cancellation of the vote.
“Now that the Parliament cannot adopt its position on this file until the incoming mandate, I will continue to work with consumer protection groups and housing campaigners in the coming months to call for the total withdrawal of this extremely damaging proposal.
“Sinn Féin have been leading the battle against the vulture funds at an Irish and EU level – it is therefore imperative that we have MEPs elected in May so that we can continue to fight for ordinary families in their battles against banks and vultures.”