By Angelos Anastasiou
Opposition parties have agreed to table a proposal to create a “national renegotiation framework” to the House, with a view to formulating a strategy to ease the terms agreed with international lenders for Cyprus’ bailout loan, it was announced on Friday.
In a meeting hosted by DIKO leader Nicolas Papadopoulos and attended by the economic teams of opposition parties AKEL, DIKO, EDEK and the Greens, it was unanimously noted that the bailout loan terms – colloquially referred to as the ‘memorandum’ – could be amended, but the government had no intention of seeking favourable changes.
“The memorandum has gotten worse because the government has achieved some amendments that are contrary to the stated views of the majority of parliamentary parties,” said Papadopoulos.
“That is why we believe it is necessary to try and pressure the government to renegotiate the memorandum, this time in the right direction – by improving it,” he added.
“In this context, we have agreed to put the issue of renegotiating the memorandum to parliamentary debate, the aim being to create a common framework of proposals from all parliamentary groups so that we can reinforce the effort to renegotiate, and ultimately improve, the memorandum.”
AKEL deputy spokesman Stavros Evagorou said that despite individually differing views, there is agreement on this issue, but are under no illusions as they “are fully aware that the memorandum is solely being negotiated by the government.”
The Greens’ Adonis Yiangou said that the party welcomed the creation of a “national framework” but felt that at the same time the parties should commit to policies of punishing those responsible for the crisis.
“It is inconceivable that we would demand our creditors to show understanding for the problems caused by the [March 2013] Eurogroup decisions without purging the banking system, supporting those in need and adopting policies of sustainable growth,” he said.
Taking questions from reporters, Papadopoulos issued a warning to the government which fell just short of a naked threat.
“If the government wants the House’s cooperation in facing the financial crisis – and I want to believe that, despite its errors, it does – then it must heed the minimum concerns of the parties, as well as our suggestions to improve the memorandum,” he noted.