Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides seems upbeat that an amended 2021 state budget to be sent to parliament on Monday will soon be approved by the island’s political parties.
But insiders told Philenews nothing should be taken for granted since some parties indicate that certain hot issues are still pending before they can cast a positive vote.
The budget was rejected in December by 29 votes against to 24 in favour – the first time this has happened since Cyprus’ independence in 1960.
The rejection came primarily because junior opposition Diko MPs – who in previous years had voted in favour – broke ranks and vetoed.
Also voting against were main opposition Akel, socialist Edek, the Greens, Citizens’ Alliance and independent MP Anna Theologou.
Centre Diko said the government’s refusal to hand over to the Auditor-General files concerning the now-defunct controversial citizenship by investment scheme had led them into taking this crucial decision.
As soon as the budget was rejected, the government launched a round of consultations with opposition parties in a bid to win enough consensus to tip the balance.
It had promised to seriously consider proposed amendments within the 45 days from the day of the vote that the government has in its hands to submit a fresh bill.
Specifically, Edek is waiting for the government’s response to their request for the estalshment of a special court where borrowers can submit applications against abusive bank clauses.
It also demands that foreclosure action is suspended until such a court case is heard and a verdict is handed out.
Edek’s vote could be a kingmaker in the budget’s approval response.