Foreclosures deadlock could end by March 5
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.