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Opposition slams insolvency bill

Opposition slams insolvency bill THE FIFTH and final bill of the insolvency framework, a crucial element for the implementation of the foreclosures legislation, will be discussed at a joint meeting of the House Finance and Interior committees today.

Ruling DISY party MP Andreas Kyprianou said that the bill satisfies many of the opposition parties’ concerns and noted that it has to be approved by Parliament so that Cyprus can join the ECB bond purchase program as well as secure the next tranches of its bailout loan from the troika of international lenders.

But the draft bill, which was approved by the cabinet last Friday, has been slammed by opposition parties AKEL and EDEK who claim that it does not offer complete protection to vulnerable home-owners and others who are unable to repay their loans.

Deputy Parliamentary Spokesman for AKEL Stavros Evagorou said that his party will not back down on its position of protecting primary residences, SMEs and loan guarantors – adding that AKEL will submit an amended bill.

EDEK considers that there are both positive and negative aspects to the bill and that it will introduce amendments to protect primary residences and SMEs if necessary.

DIKO MP Angelos Votsis described the bill as “complex” noting that some of its terms will result in the mandatory restructuring of loans under certain conditions while providing a way out for loan guarantors.

The European Party said that people should not fall prey to the banks for a second time and that the insolvency framework must protect them effectively.

The Green Party stressed that the protection offered by the bill contains a number of loopholes that could result in mass foreclosures.

Meanwhile Pierre Moscovici, EU Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, told reporters at a Eurogroup press conference on Monday that Cyprus has to implement the foreclosure law without delay.

“On Cyprus, I would also like to again stress the importance of implementing without any further delay the Foreclosure Law, which has been suspended again recently by the Cypriot Parliament. The entry into force of this law is an essential precondition for addressing effectively the problem of non-performing loans, which is the main challenge for the Cypriot economy at this time.

“We all recognised that Cyprus has made impressive progress in building a new and more sustainable basis for jobs and growth over the past two years. It would be a great pity if this progress were slowed due to this one issue. I understand that the adoption by the Cypriot Ministerial Council and tabling to Parliament of the Insolvency Bill should help to expedite this process, and I hope that this will be the case and that the programme will soon be on track.” he said.