The rejection of the return of the law for the suspension of the sales until the end of October does not close the issue. The government, despite the strong pressure and the pounding received by the opposition, with the ECB letter to the Ministry of Finance entering the quiver of the parties, will proceed to report the law to the Supreme Court with the question of constitutionality. The decision of the Supreme Court will be decisive as if the government and the Attorney General are acquitted, the possibilities of the Parliament to legislate on the sale process will be drastically limited.
The ECB letter
The decision of the ECB not to express an opinion and to leave the issue in the hands of the Cypriot authorities was exploited by the opposition parties which harshly criticized the Ministry of Finance for hiding it with the Speaker of the Plenary, Zacharia Koulia, to ask the Central Bank to inform the Parliament.
The letter, however, is published in the Official Journal of the EU, ie it is a public document and its content became known to the parties through the newspapers, with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs finally issuing an explanatory statement yesterday at noon and while the Plenary Session was in progress. .
The ECB, as “P” wrote yesterday, informed the Minister of Finance Konstantinos Petridis that it will not express an opinion on the law, but considers the suspension an individual measure that concerns sustainable borrowers.
“Inexplicably for us, the President of the Republic and the government, after the issuance of this opinion by the ECB, insists on the return of the legislation”, commented the chairman of the Finance Committee, Christiana Erotokritou.
“The ECB has decided not to deliver an opinion after taking into account the fact that the purpose of the amendments introduced by the draft law is only to extend the suspension of mortgage sale procedures until October 31, 2021,” the letter said. The letter notes the importance of how the support measures will be lifted:
“As long as significant traffic restrictions are in place to control the pandemic in euro area countries, supporting economic policy to avoid the bankruptcy of adversely affected but viable companies and a significant increase in unemployment will protect short-term financial stability. “With the gradual lifting of traffic restrictions and the improvement in the adaptation of parts of the economy to these restrictions, extensive policy support, especially to companies, should be phased out in order to avoid disproportionately serious consequences.”
AKEL MP Aristos Damianou announced an initiative in September to restore the balance between the privileges of banks and investment funds and the degraded privileges of borrowers and guarantors.
The Government and the Central Bank stated yesterday – at the meeting of the Finance Committee – that the promoted suspension of sales will not serve its purpose, namely the protection of vulnerable borrowers.
Criticism of the parties forced government spokesman Mario Pelekano to issue a written statement in support of vulnerable groups of the population, among which are: the strengthening and upgrading of the institution of the Financial Commissioner, the implementation of the Home plan, the introduction of the Insolvency Framework, the extension of payment of a series of debts to the state through overdue debt plans, support packages and companies affected by the effects of the pandemic which continue to this day and the longest-running suspension plan implemented in the European Union.