16 May 2014 09:59

Technocrats from the Finance Ministry and the Central Bank yesterday received the draft of a revised memorandum amid expectations that no prior action is needed for the disbursement of bailout cash.
During previous assessments, lenders had set prerequisites for the disbursement of the money, such as the bill on privatisations during the third assessment.
The government is hoping that this time creditors will not include such provisions as the adjustment programme is on track.
Negotiations will take place tomorrow at a senior technocratic and political level to finalise the revised text when Finance Minister Harris Georgiades is expected to return from Warsaw.
He is in Poland to discuss the management of Laiki Bank’s 18% share in Bank of Cyprus with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
All involved services have received the chapter of the draft memorandum which concerns them, while the section on the banking sector has been given to the Central Bank.
International lenders yesterday continued their meetings with the authorities at the Directorate General for European Programmes and Development, where they discussed the provisions of a draft bill for mediation in case differences occur between borrowers and banks in relation to the restructuring of their loans.
Speaking after the meeting Senior Director of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Keve) Leonidas Paschalides said that the chamber’s mediation services will be involved in negotiations on non-performing loans (NPLs), under the auspices of the Financial Commissioner.
He also said that Keve has 32 certified mediators “who are expected to double in the next two months due to the training programmes that the chamber is running”.
According to Paschalides, 75% of mediations end in an agreement.
It is noted that the Financial Commissioner will not act as mediator but will instead appoint a mediator in accordance with the power he will be given under a proposed bill.
President of the Cyprus Consumers’ Association Fryni Michael said that mediators will play a significant role in restructuring the loans, but also stressed that the association will have a say in the bill “in order to ensure that borrowers are given a fair chance to resolve any complaint that they may have with the bank or co-op”.


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