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07 December, 2019
 
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Foreclosures: Parliament rejects President's referral

The House of Representatives will discuss the issue again on Friday, August 2nd

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The House of Representatives today rejected a presidential referral regarding a number of foreclosure legislation amendments and postponed a further vote for Friday.

The plenary voted against President Anastasiades' referral by 17 votes in favour and 35 against, on a bill that would freeze the foreclosure procedure on mortgages eligible to join the ESTIA debt relief plan.

Finance Minister Haris Georgiades said that the changes in the law on foreclosures voted by the House will have an effect on the guarantees provided by the state to Hellenic Bank

MPs also agreed to postpone the vote on amendments passed by opposition parties that would allow defaulted borrowers to stall the foreclosure process and set price limits on the sale of foreclosed properties, in order to give MPs more time for consultations.

Parliamentarians will assemble again on Friday, August 2, to cast their votes on the President's referral.

In favour of the postponement were DIKO, DISY, EDEK, the Citizens' Alliance, the Solidarity Movement and the Greens. 

If government and parliament do not reach an agreement the bills are referred to the Supreme Court.

Last week in a letter to Parliament President Anastasiades said that the amendments to the foreclosure legislation are unconstitutional, stating that articles 23, 25, 26, 28 and 30 of the constitution are violated.

Finance Minister Haris Georgiades said that the changes in the law on foreclosures voted by the House will have an effect on the guarantees provided by the state to Hellenic Bank for the acquisition of the Cooperative Bank, by increasing the payments of KEDIPES to the Bank to 160 million euros, instead of 120 million euros.

Central Bank Governor Constantinos Erodotou said that he had received a message from the European Supervisory Mechanism on Sunday, which "clearly states that once delays and uncertainty arise in the schedule of banks,  we expect a significant negative impact'' on banks' forecasts.

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