Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Business
Classified Sites

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Cyprus parliament rejects bailout-mandated bill to privatize state-owned companies

A banner that reads in Greek “The bill is disastrous” is seen through barbed wire during a strike to protest government plans to privatize the state-run organizations in Nicosia, Cyprus, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014. Hundreds of protesters have gathered outside Cyprus' parliament to voice opposition against legislation that will pave the way for the privatization of state-owned companies. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

Enlarge Image

A banner that reads in Greek “The bill is disastrous” is seen through barbed wire during a strike to protest government plans to privatize the state-run organizations in Nicosia, Cyprus, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014. Hundreds of protesters have gathered outside Cyprus' parliament to voice opposition against legislation that will pave the way for the privatization of state-owned companies. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

NICOSIA, Cyprus - Cyprus' lawmakers on Thursday effectively forced the government to renegotiate terms of legislation that would pave the way for the privatization of state-owned companies, a condition of the debt-laden country's rescue deal with international lenders.

The vote throws into doubt whether Cyprus will receive the next batch of bailout money that the government said is necessary to stave off bankruptcy in the next couple of months.

The country has until March 5 to pass the legislation which several parties including left-wing AKEL and socialist EDEK had staunchly opposed.

Lawmakers voted 25 in favour, 25 against and five abstained. The tie meant the legislation was turned down.

Parliament will again vote on a revised bill probably next week, a lawmaker told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he didn't want to pre-empt a formal announcement.

"We must now deal with what happens next with the rescue program," Prodromos Prodormou, spokesman for the ruling right-wing Democratic Rally Party, told state broadcaster CyBC.

AKEL leader Andros Kyprianou told parliament before the vote that his party would not consent to the "sell off of the nation's wealth" and denounced what he called the "blackmail" of international lenders.

Kyprianou and EDEK lawmaker Giorgos Varnava said the government has to renegotiate the bill and speak to parties on alternatives.

Centre-right Democratic Party had suggested it would support the bill, but five of its lawmakers abstained because the party's proposed amendments safeguarding jobs and benefits at privatized companies were rejected.

Cyprus government spokesman Christos Stylianides said in a written statement late Thursday that the Cabinet will deal with the bill's rejection the following day "to forestall unpleasant developments and to maintain the country's economic recovery and stabilization."

Privatizations were a key component of the country's 10 billion euro ($13.66 billion) bailout Cyprus agreed with other euro area countries and the International Monetary Fund last year.

Hundreds of people had gathered outside parliament to protest against the bill, including workers from the country's electricity, telecommunications and ports authorities that are slated for privatization.

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
Submit a Random Act of Kindness
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media

Canadian Mortgage Rates