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MPs gather for crucial foreclosures vote

Finance Minister Harris Georgiades (left) with CBC governor Constantinos Herodotou at the House of Representatives finance committee ahead of the vote on Friday

With parliament about to vote on Friday on a second presidential veto on changes to the law of foreclosures, members of the anti-foreclosures association are gathering outside the House of Representatives to protest.

The road in front of the House of Representatives has been closed.

Parliament on Monday rejected one of two presidential vetoes relating to changes to foreclosures legislation, while voting to postpone until Friday voting on the other veto.

In an extraordinary session the House plenum voted by 35-17 to reject President Nicos Anastasiades’ veto on a bill that would freeze until October repossessions on primary residences which are potentially eligible for the Estia debt relief scheme.

As such, the bill will now be referred to the supreme court for adjudication.

At the same time, parliament decided to hold off voting on the second presidential veto, which related to amendments recently made to the foreclosures legislation.

MPs decided more time was needed to discuss the specific issue and to vote on the second veto on Friday.

In favour of postponing a vote on the second veto were ruling party Disy, as well as opposition Diko, Edek, the Citizens Alliance and the Greens.

The two bills in question had been passed by opposition parties on July 12. The parties said they wanted to introduce additional safeguards for homeowners with mortgages they are unable to service, and to restore the negotiating balance between lenders and borrowers.

The European Central Bank, the Cyprus Central Bank and the finance minister have strongly urged MPs not to weaken the foreclosures legislation, saying it would seriously impact the banking system

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