Cyprus Mail

Further delay for insolvency framework

DIKO and House finance committee chairman Nicolas Papadopoulos

By George Psyllides

The five bills that make up the insolvency framework will not be heading to the plenum on Thursday as more time is needed to process them but an effort will be made to get them there before Easter, lawmakers said on Tuesday.

The decision was taken unanimously by the House Finance and Interior Committees.

“At least as far as DIKO is concerned, an effort will be made to complete the examination of all the bills, all five, before Easter,” DIKO and House Finance Committee chairman Nicolas Papadopoulos said.

The bills were now expected to reach the plenum on April 2.

“We never claimed the issues we were examining were simple,” he added. “I had said that every effort is being made to conclude examination of the bills as soon as possible.”

Papadopoulos said parliament was not responsible for amendments made by the government, without however, blaming the executive.

“We understand they are complicated bills and there are issues that may need to be clarified through discussion in parliament.”

He also challenged those who thought the framework was not sufficient to submit better proposals.

The framework is seen as a safety net for vulnerable groups affected by the crisis.

Interior Committee chairman and AKEL MP Yiannos Lamaris said the bills had weaknesses, adding that they would look into the possibility of having additional sessions.

The main sticking point is provisions regarding loan guarantors, which do not appear to satisfy the majority of parties.

EDEK MP Nicos Nicolaides said the bills had basic deficiencies and gaps.

“We will try to submit all the amendments necessary to make the law on foreclosures and the insolvency framework as fair and comprehensive as possible,” he said.

The two most important areas were protection of insolvent borrowers and protection of guarantors, especially in bankruptcy and foreclosure cases.

The delay means opposition parties will seek to suspend the foreclosures law until April 2.

The suspension caused the interruption of the island’s bailout programme as having effective repossession legislation had been included in the terms.

The International Monetary Fund has withheld some €85 million pending compliance.

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