Fore­clo­sures dead­lock could end by March 5

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

The dead­lock in the bailout fund­ing caused by the re­fusal of par­lia­ment to ap­prove a pack­age of mea­sures on fore­clo­sures could end soon, with the Cabi­net ex­pected to re­view the fi­nal piece of the rel­e­vant in­sol­ven­cies bill on March 3 and then ta­ble it in par­lia­ment for a fi­nal vote two day later.

An­dreas Char­alam­bous, Direc­tor of Fi­nance and In­vest­ments at the Min­istry of Fi­nance, told the House joint Fi­nance and In­te­rior Com­mit­tee meet­ing that the fifth and fi­nal piece of leg­is­la­tion re­gard­ing in­sol­ven­cies is cur­rently be­ing dis­cussed with tech­nocrats from the Troika of in­ter­na­tional lenders and the par­lia­men­tary par­ties.

A min­istry of­fi­cial said that the fi­nal piece of leg­is­la­tion re­gards the pro­tec­tion of pri­mary homes and that the de­cree for a write-off of mi­nor debts will come into ef­fect three months af­ter the bill is passed.

Fur­ther­more, Yior­gos Karot­sakis of the Min­istry of Com­merce said that his depart­ment has in­tro­duced a plan of ac­tion to up­grade pro­ce­dures for bankrupt­cies, but that more staff will be needed to han­dle the case that will be linked to the fore­clo­sures process. He added that co­op­er­a­tion with the courts will also be cru­cial, but de­spite two at­tempts, they have re­ceived no re­sponse so far.

Char­alam­bous added that the Min­istry is also in dia­logue with Troika of­fi­cials to work out the thorny is­sue of guar­an­tors of third par­ties’ debts, on which the lenders are adamant, but there is hope of a com­pro­mise deal soon.

House Fi­nance Com­mit­tee Chair­man Ni­co­las Papadopoulos, leader of the cen­treright DIKO party and a staunch sup­porter of the par­lia­ment’s re­fusal to pass the out­stand­ing fore­clo­sures bills, said that his party may sup­port Pres­i­dent Ni­cos Anas­tasi­ades pro­posal to ex­clude the pri­mary home from fore­clo­sures un­til March 31, in or­der not to have any fur­ther de­lay in the pas­sage of the com­plete frame­work.

Papadopoulos added that a re­sponse is awaited from the Troika of­fi­cials on com­pro­mise pro­pos­als that would pro­tect guar­an­tors.

Hav­ing voted on Thurs­day the Pres­i­dent’s third at­tempt to re-sub­mit the fore­clo­sures bill, that is hold­ing up the next tranche of the bailout money from the Troika, Papadopoulos said that the House will re­con­sider whether to ex­tend the sus­pen­sion on the bill at its up­com­ing ple­nary ses­sion next Thurs­day.

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