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Cyprus

Supreme Court will give priority to controversial legislation

The Supreme Court should come to a decision on the foreclosures bill soon

The Supreme Court will give priority to the foreclosures-related legislation referred to it by President Nicos Anastasiades, realising the gravity of the situation, its president said on Thursday.

“What I can say is that in light of the nature of these cases the Supreme Court will give them priority, realising the gravity and the implications these have,” Supreme Court President Myron Nikolatos told the Cyprus news Agency.

Four out of six bills voted by parliament last Saturday to limit the scope of the controversial foreclosures bill were found to be conflicting with the constitution of Cyprus and referred to the Supreme Court for a ruling.

On Thursday, Anastasiades informed party leaders that he was sending the other two bills back to parliament. Parliament can now accept his referral or send them back to the Presidential Palace and see this matter also settled by the Supreme Court.

The parties decision to pass the laws has prompted the European Commission to withhold the next tranche of financial assistance.

The Commission said parts of the legislation passed by parliament were incompatible with the terms of the island’s bailout.

“While a detailed assessment is still ongoing, it appears clear that parts of the legislation voted through last Saturday, together with the foreclosures bill, are not compatible with the requirements of the MoU in this important policy area,” said European Commission spokesman Simon O’Connor.

The six contentious bills, which were tabled and voted by opposition parties as a “safety net” to vulnerable groups against the risk of foreclosure, had been referred to the Attorney-general by Anastasiades on Monday for a constitutionality review, following the Troika’s explicit opposition to their provisions.

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