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Bill on sale of loans a prior action

02/11/2015 09:59
The enactment of the bill on the sale of loans is required for the completion of the Memorandum said the Finance Minister, in view of troika visit for the eighth evaluation of the adjustment program.

In his statements to StockWatch, Harris Georgiades stressed that "I do not expect even the process of the last assessment and the Memorandum will be completed, without the adoption by the legislature of the bill on the sale of loans."

He explained that Troika does not set a schedule for the adoption of the bill on the sale of loans any more, as the bill should have been adopted since last September.

He recalled that it was after intense negotiations that the Cypriot authorities managed for the bill to be regarded as a prerequisite only with its approval by the cabinet.

He thinks that the timeframe for its enactment by the parliament will be in the middle of the evaluation of the program, during the first two weeks of November.

Mr. Georgiades noted that this bill, which applies to all the economies of the EU Member States, will complement the banks’ toolbox for a better management of NPLs.

The bill was discussed in parliament, which is planning substantial changes, which are expected to greatly reduce its effectiveness. The most important change sought by political parties is to allow borrowers the possibility to purchase their loan at a price close to that a third party could buy it.

According to Mr. Georgiades, creditors will also give great emphasis to the reform of the public service, including issues of the state payroll and the privatization of Cyta. He described both as major changes needed for the completion of the memorandum.

The Secretary to the President Constantinos Petrides in statements to StockWatch last Friday, warned that if the bill on the state payroll is not adopted by the parliament, freezes in salaries, allowances and ATA will continue regardless whether Cyprus emerges from the memorandum or not.

Today, the debate on the bill for the sale of loans is expected to begin at the parliamentary committee of Finance.

Mr. Georgiades expressed the view that this may be the last evaluation of the Cypriot program.

He explained that next March, just a few weeks before the Parliament closes in view of the elections, memorandum bills cannot be pending when at the same time, the program is expected to be completed at the end of March.