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Primary residence protection bill on hold

The House Legal Affairs Committee has decided to put the controversial primary residence protection bill on hold and it will probably not be discussed at a plenary session of the House on Thursday.

EFFORTS to push through legislation to protect primary residences took an unexpected turn today when the Parliamentary Legal Committee decided to postpone discussion of the proposed bill.

The Committee met this morning to add amendments to the bill proposed by opposition AKEL and EDEK, which were aimed at softening the ban and clarifying the procedure for the protection of primary residences.

However, after hearing objections during a bitter debate in parliament, the Committee decided to put off a planned discussion of the bill at Thursday’s plenary meeting of the House.

The Committee said the legislation was premature as the debts ombudsman and a code of behaviour to be adopted by the banks from the Cyprus Central Bank were not in place.

AKEL and EDEK said they would appeal to the House Speaker to present the bill at the plenary session of parliament for debate.

Meanwhile the Government has strongly objected to the management of the primary residence protection legislation warning that it would result in the banks refusing any new housing loans.

Government spokesman Christos Stylianides told CyBC that President Anastasiades will invite the House speaker to explain that a needless panic is being created among people that a sell-off of properties is imminent. Stylianides added that the selling of primary residences is out of the question and gave an assurance that this is fully safeguarded.

Finance Minister Haris Georgiades had earlier said that the proposed law was off-hand and fragmentary and would lead to more problems for the economy.

Georgiades said that the Government was in favour of protecting primary residences under a comprehensive scheme that would benefit low-income families facing economic problems. He added that the legislation proposed by the opposition parties would result in benefitting people who, although in a position to service their loans, would take advantage of the situation by holding back from doing so.

Readers' comments

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  • MartynG says:

    The usual shambles!

    @Road Warrior: many of the laws in this country don’t seem to apply, or if they do then it seems it very much depends on who you are, and who your friends are! And the overseeing Troika don’t seem to be very efficient or effective either, they seem to be kicking another can down the road, trying to ensure little ol RoC doesn’t crash out of the Euro, possibly even bring down the Eurozone!

  • Costas Apacket says:

    Amazing how such a high priority and gusto is given to protecting the primary residences of the usual suspects, when there is absolutely no interest shown nor effort even considered in protecting the residencies, primary or otherwise, of those without Title Deeds?

    Just shows where the priorities lie and the type of mind-set that exists around here.

  • @kufrahdog – This is the problem. It seems that politicians take decisions without thinking through their consequences.

  • kufrahdog says:

    While cooler heads prevail for now, the risk is again obvious: that Cypriot politicians are incapable of delivering a comprehensively fair and equitable solution to all those affected by the great title deed scam. KD.

  • B.Whiffen says:

    Hardly surprising this ends up as non-news, protection should go only to those who have been defrauded of their deeds by the developer/bank/lawyer swindle, the main debtors [supermarkets/developers etc] need to be the first in front of the bailiffs and be stripped of all assets and wealth they have obtained from their fraud.

  • Road Warrior says:

    @DM, this is Cyprus, the normal laws of economics and physics, don’t apply !

  • Janner says:

    If this legislation was passed then the collateral used against loans could not be realised and the banks would be unable to service their debt and call in the government for a bail out. The government can’t afford to do this and Cyprus would have to declare itself bankrupt and seek EU handouts. Surely this could never happen. Oh, that’s right. It’s already is in this situation. How odd that the most important economical decisions have not yet been made! Could it be that they are so in the s**t they don’t have a clue which way to paddle?

  • Andrew says:

    Developers who have mortgaged land, then sold it on to unsuspecting buyers, without bothering to repay their debts, should have their primary residences repossessed. So should the lawyers and the bankers involved in this mass deception.

  • Stuart says:

    Denton is quite right. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all stop paying for our primary residences here in the UK and enjoy the protection of the coalition government against our property being repossessed!

  • Gavin Jones says:

    Lunatic parliament; lunatic mindset; lunatic island.

    With chumps like this in control of the ship of state, Cyprus deserves all it’s got and all it’s GOING to get.

  • Denton Mackrell says:

    While there may be some sympathy for individuals hopelessly in debt and with no means to pay, the golden rule is surely that a debtor must bear the costs and consequences of the debt for which he is responsible. That usually includes losing the roof over your head and possible bankruptcy – and the taxpayer definitely does not underwrite the debtor’s debt!!

    So, why are Cyprus legislators spending so much time and energy in trying to pretend that such a well known ‘universal law’ cannot apply here? Will they next be writing an anti-gravity law whereby the taxpayer has to underwrite the costs of water running downhill instead of up? I mean, what a nerve! Water actually running down hill!!

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