Better protecting and informing property buyers taking on a mortgage is the aim of the directive that has been debated and voted this week by MEPs during the September plenary. Antolín Sánchez Presedo, a Spanish member of the S&D group, has been responsible for steering the new rules through the Parliament. He explained us how Parliament wants to help curb the irresponsible lending that has compounded the crisis.
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||Exterior view of the European Parliament building in Strasbourg
||General view of the ambience during the meeting
||SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Antolín SANCHEZ PRESEDO (S&D, ES) rapporteur: "This debate marks an important point in our debate on financial regulation. We are here today to discuss the first directive on residencial property in the European Parliament. This is very important for the families and for the economic recovery. 17% of Europeans live in houses they own and normally they have bought them by using a mortgage and the value of these mortgages are worth more than 52% of GDP in Europe, and the potential for growth is considerable."
||SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Antolín SANCHEZ PRESEDO (S&D, ES) rapporteur: "There have to be provisions for special risk contracts, for example mortgages in foreign currency or with a variable interest rate. It should be compulsory to establish rules and avoid the manipulation of interest rate.
||SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Antolín SANCHEZ PRESEDO (S&D, ES) rapporteur: "The first answer in case of problems can not be the fore closure. The charges must be limited to repaying the costs and Member States must ceilings for this."
||SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Antolín SANCHEZ PRESEDO (S&D, ES) rapporteur: "When the debt would be persistent, a minimum income should be set out. We want to avoid long term indebtiment".
||SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Antolín SANCHEZ PRESEDO (S&D, ES) rapporteur: "The directive should be transponded within two years and its new principles have to inspire the Member States to put that into force, taking into account to carry on working in order to ensure responsible lending and borrowing.
||SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Antolín SANCHEZ PRESEDO (S&D, ES) rapporteur: "The European fiscal union will demand the emission of European bonds and we will have a mature mortgage market when a European standard mechanism in this sector will be adopted."
||SOUNDBITE (Dutch) Philippe DE BACKER(ALDE, BE): "I am particularly happy that we have looked at places where the mortgage market works very well. Such as in Belgium, for example, we have very clear transparent rules, and very clear information provided to consumers because this kind of input has enable us to arrive to a compromise that can be applied across the borders in Europe."
||SOUNDBITE (French) Philippe LAMBERTS (Verts/ALE, BE): "80% of bubbles are related to mortgages, so we have to do something about that. Is a way of protecting the economy against the ups and downs that it has been suffering."
||SOUNDBITE (French) Philippe LAMBERTS (Verts/ALE, BE): "We have hesitated to establish strict limitations on rules limiting the size of the mortgage, the loan real value or the loan value compare to the borrower income."
||SOUNDBITE (English) Ford Vicky (ECR, UK): "I think we would have done more of this by looking at best practices to equivalent regimes and not having this rigid package. I am afraid at more cost for the lenders and this will again pass on to the consumers and many households are still struggling with their households bills and with their mortgage payments and for the first time buyers are struggling to get a space on the market. I am afraid I am not as positive as some of those."
||SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Willy MEYER (GUE/N GL, ES): "The first house should not be a good but a right. By now the European Commission has been acting more likely a branch of the banking system than a European body that would guarantee those rights. In the southern Europe and other countries, evictions have created a quite unnecessary pain in Greece, Portugal, Spain. In Spain we had 400.000 evictions, which mean people that are left out in the streets, are unprotected. The European Commission only interest is to guarantee big benefits for the banking system. When we had some attempts of regulation as in the case of the regional Andalusia government drafting a law, European Commission has opposed the regulation that would guarantee the social status of the household."