Mass rally against foreclosures

Mass rally against foreclosures


By Kyriacos Kyriacou-Nicosia

Α mass mobilisation against foreclosures on mortgaged properties was announced on Tuesday be a coalition of trade unions and social organisations, a day after the government assured that it will approve a set of measures to protect vulnerable groups.

The trade unions said that the protest rally will take place on August 27 outside the Presidential Palace. Workers`, farmers` and small enterprises` unions, pensioners` and students` organisations, the Movement against Foreclosures and the Movement against Privatisation announced they would organise the mobilisation.

“We will vigorously defend the primary residence and the businesses of the unemployed, the breadwinners and the small farmers,” the coalition said in a declaration read out by one of their representatives, Sotiris Vlachos, at a press conference on Tuesday.

The declaration said that for the first time since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, a “disastrous” bill proposed by the Government on foreclosures puts Cypriots at risk of losing their houses, their business premises and their land. The coalition calls on all political parties to vote against the bill which has been approved by the Cabinet and invites every Cypriot to join the protest “to defend social and human dignity”.

Political parties maintain that the proposed bill would pave the way for massive foreclosures of mortgaged property without protecting vulnerable households and small and medium sized enterprises which have been hit by the financial crisis.

Measures for vulnerable groups

On Monday President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, said the government would approve a set of measures to protect vulnerable groups from foreclosures of mortgaged properties. The President discussed the issue of a proposed bill on foreclosures with the Ministers of Finance and Interior, as well as the Government Spokesman, the Undersecretary to the President, the Deputy Government Spokesman and the President of the ruling party, Democratic Rally (DISY). The meeting took place ahead of a crucial vote in Parliament over the bill that has been set as a precondition by Cyprus` lenders (the EC, the ECB and the IMF), as part of a €10 billion bailout. In statements after the meeting, Anastasiades said the measures will be approved by the Council of Ministers tomorrow Wednesday, adding that before the session he will brief the leaders of the political parties. The bill should be approved by end August.