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Our View: Parties behaviour over foreclosure bills defies belief

Under fire, Finance Minister Harris Georgiades

CONTRARY to our expectations the foreclosures law saga is not over. The happy ending we had hoped for, in which the laws passed by the political parties that the Troika objected to would have ended up at the Supreme Court for a ruling on their constitutionality, is quite clearly not acceptable to the lenders. This arrangement would leave the matter open, as there would be a possibility the Supreme Court ruled that the parties’ laws were constitutional and not in violation of any EU directives.

The Troika and the Eurogroup, understandably, are not prepared to engage in local political games, which is why neither the Eurogroup nor the IMF would be prepared to give their consent to the release of the next tranche of financial assistance if the issue is left open. One of the six bills, sent by the president to Attorney-General for an opinion about its constitutionality, in effect would prevent the enforcement of the foreclosures law until the insolvency bill was approved at the end of this year. Did the demagogues of DIKO who drafted it believe there was a chance in a million the Troika would have accepted it?

But instead of dealing with the real issue the political parties have turned their attention to the finance minister Harris Georgiades, whom they all attacked yesterday because he had the effrontery to warn of the danger the economy was in as a result of the parties’ actions. DIKO chief Nicholas Papadopoulos accused the minister of “creating a climate of insecurity that would create negative consequences for the Cyprus economy.” EDEK accused him of engaging in alarmism and said it expected “more seriousness and a greater sense of responsibility.”

It defies belief that the parties have the nerve to blame the minister for their populist irresponsibility, shamelessly twisting the truth. The climate of insecurity was created by the parties’ bills which if not withdrawn would prevent the release of the next tranche of financial assistance, derail the adjustment programme, cause the banks to fail the October stress tests, giving rise to the possibility of another haircut of deposits and the state running out of money in a couple of months. It is the bills that the Troika does not approve of but the irresponsible parties insist on that has caused the insecurity among people and not Georgiades’ comments.

The irony is that Georgiades has been the only politician that has behaved responsibly and prudently during this saga, in which the demagogues in the legislature were competing over who would be crowned the most zealous defender of the people; even the president felt obliged to pander to this political hysteria. Now the parties have to put aside their defiant posturing and behave responsibly, for once. We hope it is not too much to ask of them.

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