Cyprus parliament adopts privatisation bill

The parliament of Cyprus adopted on March 4 a controversial privatisation bill after international lenders warned that in the case of another rejection of the bill, the island would not be eligible for the fourth tranche of about 236 million euro in aid, as part of the 10 billion euro international bailout programme.

Thirty MPs voted for and 26 voted against.

On February 27, after a heated debate, the same lawmakers had rejected a first draft of the bill, with 25 votes against, 25 in favour and five abstentions.

The bill provides the legal framework, which oversees the privatisation of state owned organisations as well as the establishment of relevant bodies in charge of the process. As part of the commitment to pay down debt, the country was expected by March 5 to have approved the privatisation of the three major semi-state organizations Telecommunications Authority, the Electricity Authority and the Ports Authority, in order to raise about 1.4 billion euro by 2018.

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(Photo: EUCyprus)