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14 June, 2024
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MPs vote on budget hanging by a thread

State budget expected to squeeze through if small parties keep to delicate balances and abstentions


The House takes another vote on the state budget on Thursday, with representatives expected to pass the bill narrowly following behind-the-scenes consultations since the first time it was rejected in mid-December.

(Click here for an update to the story)

According to local media, members of parliament will vote on the government’s revised 2021 state budget on Thursday late afternoon, one month after the bill was rejected without support from centre party DIKO which said it was concerned over lack of transparency following an impasse on the golden passport probe.

The golden passport scandal has been a main issue in the budget debates as political discussion went on ahead of parliamentary elections just around the corner

Last December, 29 lawmakers voted down the budget with the government securing only 24 yays including 18 from ruling party DYSI, while stop-gap legislation for emergency funds passed unanimously allowing month-to-month budget approved through February based on expenditures that had been authorized the previous year.

But things are looking up for the government after socialist party EDEK suggested it would support the revised budget following Wednesday’s Cabinet decisions on supportive measures for defaulted borrowers who get rejected from state plan ESTIA as well as additional guidelines that would allow a special court to quickly intervene in foreclosure property procedures.

According to Kathimerini Cyprus, EDEK delivering three votes on Thursday could potentially bring the total votes to 29 in favour and 26 against, provided that Solidarity Movement would also offer its two votes.

But local reports suggested Solidarity appeared to be unimpressed with government promises, giving traction to a more likely scenario where the small party would abstain and not vote down the budget, thus handing a narrow 27-26 win to the administration.

Last year was the first time ever since the founding of the Republic of Cyprus in 1960 that a government failed to pass the budget, with local media pointing to the golden passport scandal as the main issue with opposition which continues to rock the boat as parliament elections are just around the corner in May.


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