Cyprus Mail

House to hold special session on laws rejected by president

The House plenum is set to have an extraordinary session on Friday morning after President Nicos Anastasiades referred two laws back to lawmakers, citing their unconstitutionality.

The contested laws are related to the widowers’ pensions and that of personal data protection.

MPs will convene on Friday at 10am to decide whether they agree with the president’s referral.

This would mean the laws would be amended or else they will have to be referred to the Supreme Court.

At 8:30am the House labour committee will hold a session examining the president’s referral of the widowers’ pension law. Deemed unconstitutional, Anastasiades said amendments passed by lawmakers will burden the social insurance fund with almost €40m more for this year alone, than what the initial Cabinet approved bill outlined.

The bill tabled by government had specified men could only be eligible for a widower’s pension if their wife died on or after January 1, 2018.

At the last minute Akel and the Greens inserted an amendment, making eligibility irrespective of the date of the spouse’s death. The law passed as amended.

According to Anastasiades’ letter to lawmakers, figures by the labour ministry show that the amendments mean that in 2018, social insurance costs will jump from €3.4m to €42.3m in 2018.

In 2019, the government had budgeted €6.5m for the social insurance fund but the amendments would mean the state coffers would have to cough up a total of €43.7m.

The numbers would continue to increase in subsequent years.

Anastasiades said the law was also unconstitutional as it was deemed parliament was intervening with executive powers violating the constitution over the separation of powers.

The House legal committee will also convene on Friday at 8:30am to examine the president’s referral of the law on personal data protection saying the articles were inconsistent and incompatible creating legal confusion and uncertainty.

Anastasiades outlined that for one, the way parliament drafted the law did not make it clear whose personal data it was legal to process.

It goes against the spirit of the European regulation for which the law is based on, he added.


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