EDEK MPs Elias Myrianthous and Kostis Efstathiou continue to take a hard line on the issue of the state budget for 2021. Despite the fact that everything is in danger of being blown up, in case the verdict of the two MPs is negative for the budget, they continue to insist on changing the law on divestitures, in an effort, they argue, to shield borrowers and prevent divestitures for disputed loans.
Specifically, 2/3 of the EDEK deputies directly link the sales with the budget, something with which members of the party's political bureau also agree. MP Elias Myrianthous stated yesterday that he will vote against the budget if his request for a change in the law on sales is not met. In fact, he said that members of the political bureau demand that the party not be satisfied with the commitments that the government and DISY undertake.
For his part, MP Kostis Efstathiou told “F” that he has not yet decided what stance he will take in the vote on the state budget. As he said, he will expect to see how the final proposal of the government for the establishment of a special court for the abusive clauses but also for the sales will be formulated and then he will decide. However, it appears to insist on the need for legislation.
The day before yesterday, the president of DISY Averof Neophytou, during the meeting he had with the parliamentary group of EDEK, conveyed the intention of the government to promote the establishment of a special court, as requested by EDHEK, which will deal with such issues. In fact, he assured them that as a temporary solution, until the operation of the special court, judges of the Supreme Court will be appointed to examine financial issues. In this regard, Mr. Efstathiou emphasizes that along with the establishment of the court, the legislation on divestitures should be changed, so that borrowers can appeal to justice. As he said, for him the change of the legislation is important. On the other hand, the president of the party, Marinos Sizopoulos, seems to downplay the issue of changing the legal framework for the sales, as he considers that this issue is not related to the state budget. It is also indicative of the fact that during yesterday's debate on the state budget in the parliamentary Finance Committee, Mr. Sizopoulos did not ask any questions about the sales.
The government does not agree
At the same time, the government camp does not agree to change any of the legal framework for the sale. Something, in fact, which was repeated yesterday by the Minister of Finance, Konstantinos Petridis, in Parliament. He warned that the damages to the Cypriot economy and the banking system from a possible change of the law will be incalculable. At the same time, he called on the parties to approve the bill that will use the judiciary for securities issues. A bill that has been pending for months in the parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs.
Nor does the Central Bank favor the change of even one “n” from the legislation. A competent government source told “F” that, despite the change in the law on sales, which took place in 2018, borrowers can go to court. However, as he said, this is a time-consuming process, which sometimes results in the sale of the property by the bank and then the cases are examined by the court … He also noted that with the new regulation that will be proposed by government, ie to appoint Supreme Court judges to hear such cases, will speed up the process of examining such cases. That is, a decision will be made shortly before the bank leads to the auction of the property. In fact, he said that in this way there is no need to change the law, as the special court will deal with the cases immediately and the sale will be automatically suspended.
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The President of the Republic Nikos Anastasiadis will be called upon to resolve the heavy bond, who on Monday will meet with the President of EDEK Marino Sizopoulos. The meeting is expected to be attended by the Minister of Finance, Konstantinos Petridis and the President of DISY, Averof Neophytou. Following the explanations or promises received by the president of EDEK, he will present, probably on Wednesday, before the party's political office the government proposal on the issue of the special court or other issues related to the budget. EDEK's effort is the collective decision, if possible, unanimously. However, if Myrianthous and Efstathiou do not agree with the government's intentions or proposals and decide to vote against the budget, then they will probably have supporters from the political bureau, without ruling out the possibility that Mr. Sizopoulos will follow them to avoid a split in the party. four months before the parliamentary elections. The votes from EDEK (at least two) are considered absolutely necessary to avoid a second vote against the budget, which could lead the economy to very serious adventures.
Scenarios on scenarios and the attitude of Adamos
Due to the fluid data, the scenarios for the possible end of the vote during the crucial vote on January 21 give and take. So far there is a tie, as the pro-vote and anti-revision budget camps secure 26 votes. If EDEK decides to support the budget, even if Elias Myrianthous separates his position from his party's decision, the positive votes go up to 28. That is, the budget is approved (the total number of deputies is now 55). However, if Kostis Efstathiou also takes a negative stance, then the positive votes are reduced to 27 and the negative ones go up to 28. In such a scenario, the Speaker of Parliament, Adamos Adamou, may be in favor of the budget, in order to avoid adventures for economy. In his statements yesterday, Mr. Adamou left open the possibility of functioning during the crucial vote as a supra-party president, as he characteristically stated. Of course, there is also the scenario of the budget being voted down by all three of its deputies. In this case, in order for the budget to be approved, one or more of the parties that are currently voting against will have to abstain.