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Cyprus

House likely to pass CyTA and EAC privatisation ban bill

Opposition parties are poised to pass a bill prohibiting the privatisation of state telecoms company CyTA and power company EAC until the end of 2017, during the last plenary session on Thursday, when parliament will dissolve ahead of May’s election.
The bill was jointly submitted by AKEL, EDEK, the Green party, and the Citizens Alliance, despite the government withdrawing bills privatising CyTA and pledging that the EAC would not be privatised.
According to the parties, CyTA and the EAC have contributed to the state throughout time and have supported the economy through development projects.
They also constitute key organisations in the protection of the Republic’s national interests and security, the parties said.
“Therefore, suspending the privatisation procedure is deemed necessary so that they remain under state ownership and control,” the parties said.
“In addition, possible privatisation of any of the organisations in question will have serious negative consequences to public finances due to the loss of state revenue stemming from their profits and selling them at a price that does not reflect their true value.”
The parties noted that the arrangement was temporary to give time to the organisations to restructure and modernise their operation.
DIKO said it will make its position known during discussion of the proposal but it is expected that it will also support it.
Ruling DISY said it was against the bill, but its 20 MPs will not be enough to stop the bill from being approved.
MPs will also vote on dozens of other bills before parliament is dissolved ahead of the elections on May 22.

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