YESTERDAY the Cyprus Finance Minister and the Minister of the Interior continued their discussions with political party leaders on the foreclosures bill in efforts to seek its endorsement by parliament.
However party spokesmen said they still had reservations about several provisions in the bill and warned that they would vote against it in its present form.
Speaking with the state broadcaster after the discussions, Interior Minister Socrates Hasikos said that considerable work has to be done on the bill to change a number of its original provisions.
Hasikos warned that the bill has to be passed by parliament before Cyprus receives the next tranche of the island’s bailout saying that the government only has enough money until the end of November.
Tomorrow (Wednesday) the ministers will meet with the main opposition party AKEL, the Citizens’ Alliance and the Democratic Party (DIKO), which has enough seats in parliament to tip the balance either way.
The last meeting will be held on Thursday with the European Party (EVROKO).
We understand that the Troika of international lenders has asked to be informed daily of the positions of the political parties and other stakeholders over the bill.
Meanwhile approximately 15 organisations that are against the bill have held a joint meeting and elected a steering committee; a joint declaration and a program of demonstrations will be presented at a press conference on 12th August. A mass rally is planned to be held in late August/early September depending on when the bill will be presented to parliament, according to the secretary of the Pancyprian Federation of Labour (PEO ).
Gold News reported on an interview that had taken place between John Houican, CEO of the Bank of Cyprus, and the ‘Kathimerini on Sunday’ in which Mr Hourican made it clear that repossessing mortgaged homes is not the bank’s priority, nor will money reaped from home auctions ever be a source of profit for the bank.
“What we aim to do is provide loans to those who can bring in regular payments. We’re not becoming a repossessions company,” he stressed.
Instead, Hourican clarified that the foreclosures legislation affords the bank the opportunity to target debtors taking advantage of legal loopholes in the system, and who are refusing to pay.
Reiterating his commitment to preventing mass sell-offs, the bank’s CEO underlined that protecting vulnerable groups is – and will remain – a key concern.