Troika to give fi­nal nod on fore­clo­sure bill amend­ments

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

The Troika of in­ter­na­tional lenders is ex­pected to give its fi­nal nod of ap­proval or re­jec­tion of amend­ments to the con­tro­ver­sial fore­clo­sures bill, that has to be passed by par­lia­ment prior to Fri­day’s Eu­ro­zone fi­nance min­is­ters’ meet­ing.

Pres­i­dent Ni­cos Anas­tasi­ades said Tues­day that the gov­ern­ment was con­tin­u­ing its de­lib­er­a­tions with the par­lia­men­tary par­ties ahead of Wed­nes­day’s meet­ings of the House Fi­nance Com­mit­tee and In­ter­nal Af­fairs Com­mit­tee, in a bid to achieve a con­sen­sus.

Rat­i­fi­ca­tion of the cru­cial bill on fore­clo­sures of mort­gage prop­erty will re­lease the next tranche of 453 mln euros of bailout money, or else the gov­ern­ment could run out of cash by the end of Novem­ber.

The bill, set by the Troika of the IMF, the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion and the Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank as part of the wider 10 bln euro bailout pro­gramme, aims to reg­u­late the mort­gage mar­ket and al­low lenders, such as banks, to fore­close on faulty bor­row­ers or those who can af­ford to but refuse to re­pay their loans.

As a re­sult, the non-per­form­ing loans (NPLs) rep­re­sent about 45-50% of the loans port­fo­lios, a very high rate the Troika wants to lower.

But op­po­si­tion par­ties have been de­mand­ing rene­go­ti­a­tion of the bill, say­ing that or­di­nary house­holds could lose the roof over their heads.

The gov­ern­ment has added safe­guards that would make fore­clo­sures an ar­du­ous le­gal task and promised to in­tro­duce a par­al­lel bill on cor­po­rate and in­di­vid­ual in­sol­ven­cies that would help ex­clude fore­clo­sure of mort­gages on first homes, if the bor­rower is bank­rupt.

An al­ter­na­tive has been con­sid­ered to hand over all risky and low-in­come house­hold mort­gages to the state-owned Hous­ing Fi­nance Cor­po­ra­tion that would, in turn, lease back the home to the orig­i­nal owner un­til the mort­gage is re­paid, as is the case of a sim­i­lar pack­age in Greece.

The gov­ern­ment, Pres­i­dent Anas­tasi­ades said, con­tin­ues its con­tacts with the po­lit­i­cal par­ties and he ex­pressed hope that a so­lu­tion will be found, in or­der to avoid any “ad­ven­tures”.

Asked whether the gov­ern­ment has a ‘plan B’ in the event that the bill is not rat­i­fied by par­lia­ment, the Pres­i­dent ex­pressed hope that there would be no need for the gov­ern­ment to come up with a new plan, but added that there are al­ways al­ter­na­tive plans in case of a dead­lock.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Cyprus

© PressReader. All rights reserved.