The government is getting ready to refer the newly-approved bills on foreclosures and on unfair bank clauses in business contracts carried out by small businesses to the Supreme Court, according to informed sources.
In fact, Attorney General Costas Clerides yesterday met with both Finance Minister Harris Georgiades and Central Bank of Cyprus Governor Constantinos Herodotou to inform them that the specific bills are in contradiction with the Republic’s constitution.
And that he will advise President Nicos Anastasiades to refer the specific laws to the Supreme Court, one source also said.
The President has 15 days from the date of receiving the laws to either sign or refer them. Thus, the hot potato will be in the hands of the top court but both crucial bills approved by the House plenum last Friday are not going to be enforced for a long time.
And this means that the foreclosures bill approved last year, basically speeding the process, will be valid until the court’s decision. As for the unfair clauses bill, it again won’t change anything for small businesses – at least for some time.
The foreclosures bill to be referred was drafted by opposition centre Diko and voted in with the support of ruling Disy as a compromise solution. It followed the referral by the President to the House of the originally amended bill basically slowing down the foreclosures process.
The new bill allows the island’s Financial Commissioner to decide whether the bank has followed or violated the Central Bank’s directive on restructurings.
And if the Commissioner finds any breach of the code by the Bank, then the borrower would have the right to appeal to the court which will issue a same-day decree suspending the foreclosure of his/her mortgaged residence or business premises.