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NICOSIA – Cyprus’ beleaguered government, eying a recovery, said it would move to allow foreclosures so that the European Central Bank would allow participation in a bond buyback program.

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades made a personal plea to ECB President Mario Draghi during a meeting it held on the island, which since 2013 has been surviving on a 10-billion euro bailout from the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-ECB.

But Cyprus, which two years ago confiscated 47.5 percent of bank accounts over 100,000 euros to pay for the mistakes of bank management, isn’t eligible to take part in the bond buyback because the government hasn’t been able to push through home seizures as demanded by the lenders.

The ECB has a 1.1-trillion euro so-called Quantitative Easing Program (QE) but Cyprus won’t be allowed to take part until passing the foreclosure bill.

“Now Cyprus is not eligible, but when the next economic assessment is completed by lenders, it will be ready to participate,” a source familiar with talks between Anastasiades and Draghi told Reuters.

The source said it was broadly expected the foreclosures debate, now held up in Parliament, would be resolved “within days” but didn’t explain why.

Lenders are expected to have have completed their next review of Cyprus’ bailout progress by April 15, by which time Cypriot bond-buying could start, the source said.

Source: The National Herald
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