OPPOSITION MPs have delayed the implementation of the repossession legislation until the end of January. The proposal, which was submitted by the Movement for Social Democracy (EDEK), passed by 39 votes to 19.
Communist party AKEL had earlier proposed that the legislation should be suspended until the end of June, but this was rejected by MPs.
Reacting to the decision Finance Minister Harris Georgiades had some harsh words to say in a statement. “Today’s decision by parliament critically undermines our country’s credibility,” adding that “Suspending enforcement of legislation, which is not enforced anyway, is an unnecessary and unjustified act. It simply sends the message that we have not, unfortunately, rid ourselves of the mentality and behaviour that cost us so dearly.”
The suspension comes just a few days after the disbursement of the €350 million tranche of the bailout loan; the foreclosures law was a requirement for its release.
The disbursement of an additional €86 million from the IMF has yet to be confirmed. A meeting of the IMF board to decide whether to release the money is scheduled for tomorrow. But according to a government source, the subject may not be discussed.
The international lenders had informed Cypriot authorities before today’s decision that the suspension of the legislation could jeopardize the planned return of the Troika for the sixth assessment.
The Troika planned to visit Cyprus again on 27th January.