The Greek Minister of Development, Kostis Hatzidakis on Thursday defended draft legislation on non-performing mortgages. The opposition disapproves and claims that the government is essentially lifting the current suspension on foreclosures.
The Minister, in an interview with MEGA on Thursday stated that, “It is understood that this is a fair and balanced piece of legislation which is being introduced without the clear consent of the Troika but, I would like to believe, with the Troika’s understanding.”
The Development Ministry reported on Wednesday that it aims to extend through 2014, a freeze on repossessions. But that this measure will only apply to primary properties valued at up to 200,000 euros ($275,000), and for families with an annual net income of less than 35,000 euros.
However, according to the Ministry, this measure which essentially has been in effect since the beginning of the financial crisis four years ago, will end on the 1st of January, 2014. The main opposition party SYRIZA, has characterized the measure as a “loophole” that will eventually invalidate the protection currently afforded to vulnerable households. SYRIZA also claims that the government intends to lift protection for main properties.
The Democratic Left (DIMAR) and the Communist Party (KKE) have also criticized the new measure, which will be voted on by Parliament on Saturday. The KKE claims that this measure is aimed towards securing bank finances through payment by installments, and the concentration of land in the hands of companies in order that they may proceed with their investment plans.
According to data provided by the Bank of Greece, the number of non-performing loans increased to 29.3% in June, 2013, compared to 24.5% during the same month in 2012.