Cyprus Mail

Parliament extends suspension of foreclosures

Parliament on Thursday voted to extend the suspension of the foreclosures legislation until April 17, to provide more time to discuss and approve the insolvency framework.

The proposal, submitted by DIKO, was passed with the votes of 31 MPs belonging to DISY, DIKO and EDEK. Twenty MPs from main opposition AKEL and three other smaller parties abstained.

Earlier, parliament rejected AKEL’s proposal to extend the suspension until July 1.

An EDEK proposal to suspend until April 23 was also rejected.

The move will further delay resumption of the island’s bailout adjustment programme and access to the ECB’s bond-buying programme.

Delays in adopting a foreclosures framework are holding up reviews of Cyprus’ bailout programme by its international creditors.

Those reviews are contingent to Cyprus participating in the European Central Bank’s €1.1 trillion euro quantitative easing programme, launched last month.

Officials said that once the foreclosures framework comes into effect and the island is reaffirmed to be on track with its reforms, the ECB could buy up to €500 million in Cypriot bonds.

Suspension of the law, which was approved late last year, also prompted the island’s international lenders to withhold payment of around €85 million.

Parties want the law to come into effect at the same time as the insolvency framework, seen as a safety net for crisis stricken vulnerable groups.

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