Finance minister Constandinos Petrides warned that failure to pass the loan payment suspension bill through parliament, would lead to a ‘dangerous increase’ of non-performing loans.
Petrides appealed to MPs to approve the bill, so that people will not be forced to keep paying loans, causing a rise in NPLs. The bill is necessary, he added, to freeze payments for the next 9 months.
The finance minister added that a 2nd bill before the House concerns state guarantees on low interest loans to businesses (exclusing banks) that would not be otherwise given during this period, in order to pay suppliers and salaries of employees, without employers being forced to declare bankrupcy and require massive lay offs.
He said that the state guarantees bill is subject to change without altering its approach.
Petrides stressed that the government (as the whole of the EU) cannot just support the market directly without having a liquidity programme in place.