Will South Cyprus vote in favour of the bailout?

Three parliamentary parties, left-wing AKEL, the Democratic Party (DIKO) and Social Democrats Movement EDEK debated on Monday, their position on the voting that will take place today.

A meeting of the 56-member House plenary convened yesterday to decide on whether or not it would accept the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and the loan agreement with South Cyprus’ international lenders.

Three parliamentary parties, left-wing AKEL, the Democratic Party (DIKO) and Social Democrats Movement EDEK are resolved to vote against the bailout conditions and Memorandum of Understanding in today’s vote.

AKEL party leader, George Loukaides said that the South had no choice but to reject the EU’s bailout and its conditions. This would invoke great hardship on the South, he admitted, as it would mean leaving the EU. However, the benefits would be no diktats from Europe. The country would be free to make its own decisions as regards the Cyprus problem and to develop its gas industry without interference.

The Democratic Party (DIKO), which has eight MPs and is a partner in Nicos Anastasiades’ government, will vote in favour of the memorandum and the loan agreement at the parliament.

A DIKO source said that this was the current position of the party during a meeting of the party’s Executive Bureau on Monday that was attended by members of the party’s parliamentary group.

Furthermore, the same source noted that the party will vote in favour of the loan agreement and the memorandum as there is no other alternative that will lead the country out of the current deadlock.

Social Democrats Movement EDEK Central Committee decided that its five MPs will vote against the ratifying bills on the MoU and the loan agreement.

EDEK Vice President Marinos Sizopoulos said after the Committee’s meeting on Monday that 67 members of the Committee voted to reject the bills, 11 voted in favour of accepting the bills, while six members abstained.

No single party has a majority in the 56-member parliament, and the government is counting on support from members of its three-party centre-right coalition which has 30 seats in total. It needs 29 votes for the bill to pass.

The South Cyprus government, in early April, concluded a 10 billion euro bailout deal with the Troika (European Commission, ECB, IMF), which needs to be ratified by six national parliaments and the Eurogroup. The interest rate for the financial assistance loan is approximately 2.5% and is repayable over a 12-year period after a grace period of a decade.


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