Bills 3 and 4 postponed for one week – What they are about
The Plenary of the Parliament voted into law two of the four proposals of parties concerning the sale of mortgaged properties and which were also included in the package sent by the Ministry of Finance to the Parliament to deal with the matter.
In particular, the DISY-DIKO proposal was passed, which provides that in case of default or demand for payment of mortgage debt, along with the notification sent by the mortgage lender to the borrowers, guarantors and security providers, standardized information regarding the credit facility should also be sent, with the letter from Press T. The law proposal was unanimously approved and to it were added the points of amendment tabled by the MP of the Environmentalists Stavros Papadouris. These concern the addition to letter I of the date of termination of a loan, if there is an arbitration decision and details of the loan update. These matters were approved by a majority.
AKEL's law proposal was also passed, which provides that in the event that a mortgage debtor chooses to proceed with the exchange of a mortgaged property in return for repayment of a debt to a mortgage lender and the property constitutes a main residence or business premises, the exchange value shall be defined as the market value resulting from the existing property appraisal process, rather than the forced value. This proposal was approved by EDEK with 46 votes in favor and 3 abstentions.
The proposal for a law of parties regarding the right of the mortgage debtor and other interested persons to apply to a competent court for the suspension of a property sale process in specific cases, but also the proposal for a law of the EDEK for harmonization with a European directive regarding the value of the mortgaged property, got a one-week adjournment for further discussion in the Finance Committee.
During the debate in the Plenary, the MP of the Environmentalists Stavros Papadouris said that he agrees with the proposal of the DISY and the DIKO regarding transparency issues and stemming from existing court decisions. Referring to his amendment he said that they consider that the type I letter that will be sent should also contain some important information which is the history of each borrower that can be a presumption in court, the date on which a loan was terminated, whether it has a decision of the Financial Commissioner is issued, whether an arbitration decision has been issued and if there is a change in the collateral in relation to the first day the loan was granted through an amendment agreement.
The MP of DIKO and President of the Finance Committee, Christiana Erotokritou, expressed her agreement only with the addition of Mr. Papadouris regarding the date of termination of the loan. Regarding the law proposal that DIKO submitted together with DISY, he said that it is a step in the right direction, it helps and strengthens restructuring and transparency and if it was done earlier it would have a much greater impact.
EDEK President Marinos Sizopoulos was in favor of the DISY-DIKO law proposal as well as the amendments of the Environmentalists. Regarding AKEL's proposal for a law concerning the value of the property, he stated that they will abstain, since he considers that the proposal for a law is overshadowed by the proposal submitted by EDEK and will be discussed in a week.
ELAM MP Linos Papagiannis expressed his party's support for both the law proposals and the Papadouri amendments. He said, however, that these small steps will not be so decisive for the chaos that prevails in the relations between banks and borrowers and for the irrational decisions that exist by banks and also for the circumvention of contracts on their part.
The MP of DIPA – Cooperation, Alekos Tryfonidis, said that it is a shame that the Parliament needs to legislate so that in case of default, standardized information about the credit facility is also sent. He mentioned that the Parliament is now legislating for the obvious and it is a shame for the state, while he expressed the question “who ultimately governs us”.
AKEL MP Andreas Kavkalias said that his party is in favor of both proposals, while they support three of Papadouri's amendments, except for the one regarding the Financial Commissioner. Referring to AKEL's proposal, he said that in the event of the transfer of real estate that constitutes a main residence or a business premises, in return, the market value should be set and not the forced sale value, which is unilaterally determined by the banks and is much lower. With this law proposal, he added, restructurings are facilitated to a significant extent.
He also criticized the Government, which while it now made an agreement to suspend the sales with banks and management companies, when the Parliament tried to legislate the suspension they were told that it was at the expense of the borrowers and that “we would destroy the economy”. “The definition of method and purpose,” he noted.
DISY MP Haris Georgiadis pointed out to Mr. Tryfonidis that his party rules us and “as time goes by, we reflect on it even more”. At the same time, he mentioned that huge steps have been taken to improve the institutional framework for the operation of the banking system, but banking practices and legislation are not perfect. He also sent a stern message to supervisors to supervise. He added that DISY always attempts changes with great care for banking matters, making sure to have the consent and agreement of the competent authorities, which they secured. He also expressed support for AKEL's proposal, which also has the approval of the authorities. He indicated that they would only support Papadouri's first proposal for the loan termination date.
Bill for special court and request for adjournment of debate
Before the start of the debate, the President of the Parliament Annita Dimitriou informed the body that a bill was submitted by the Minister of Finance with the call to be declared urgent and to be voted on the same day and it concerns the creation of a special jurisdiction of the court for matters of expropriation. However, after consultation between the parties, the issue was referred to a joint session of the Parliamentary Finance and Legal Committees.
At the start of the debate in the Plenary, the President of DIKO Nikolas Papadopoulos expressed the opinion that the debate on the legal proposals concerning the divestitures should be postponed and the legal proposals should return to the Finance Committee for further discussion, after the presentation of a comprehensive proposal from the Government to deal with the issue of Non-Performing Loans (NPLs) and foreclosures.
On the contrary, AKEL MP Giorgos Loukaidis expressed the opinion that the discussion on the subject has been exhausted, unless the aim, as he said, is to undermine the content of the proposed law in particular the right to appeal to justice.
Disagreement with the postponement was also expressed by the President of ELAM, Christos Christou, especially regarding the proposal concerning the right of the borrowers to appeal to the court in order to stop the sale.
The Ecologist MP Stavros Papadouris expressed the opinion that the debate is over. He said that they accept adjournment of the debate only if it is for a week, otherwise the matter will be delayed and go after October.
The President of EDEK, Marinos Sizopoulos, accepted DIKO's proposal for a postponement, stating that what is important is to have the best possible result, to ensure vulnerable borrowers and not disrupt financial stability and the banking system.
The MP of DIPA – Cooperation Alekos Tryfonidis said that despite the fact that some proposals from the Government on the matter were delayed, today they are before the body and especially the bill for special jurisdiction of court. He also noted the voluntary suspension of sales by banks and management companies and said that it is prudent and politically correct to discuss all this in the Parliament in order to have an effective and reliable system so that citizens can find their justice.
DISY MP Haris Georgiadis said that what is before the Parliament has been discussed in great detail in the past and he did not accept the postponement of the debate on DISY's proposal, while he said that they are ready to vote for all suggestions.