Brandishing placards reading ‘No home should go to the bankers’, some 250 people gathered outside the presidential palace in Nicosia on Thursday, protesting against coming bank foreclosures of residences and business premises.
The demo was organised by the ‘Movement Against Foreclosures’, a self-styled non-partisan group that is part of the ‘Society Reacts’ platform.
Supporting the event were AKEL, EDEK, the Citizens Alliance and the Green Party, as well as the small shopkeepers’ association POVEK and trade unions PEO and DEOK.
The demonstrators handed a memo with a set of demands to a member of the presidential guard with the request that it be delivered to president Nicos Anastasiades.
Among their demands, that the legislation be amended so that borrowers with loans of up to €500,000 be allowed to seek court protection for their homes and businesses.
As it stands, the law affords the ability to seek court protection for loans of up to €350,000.
The demonstrators demand that this protection be afforded to owners of primary residences, small business premises and agricultural land plots.
They also want a drastic cut on interest rates, and that loan guarantors be let off the hook.
“Borrowers and guarantors, even their children, are now at the mercy of the banks’ appetites, and there is an imminent danger that they will lose everything,” the memo stated.
The demonstration began at the finance ministry around 4.30pm, after which the group walked to the presidential palace.
Police were deployed outside the presidential palace. The demonstration passed without incident, with the participants dispersing by around 6pm.