OPINION

Stopping the freeloaders

Draft legislation unveiled on Wednesday by Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis setting out the new criteria for protecting homeowners from foreclosures is reasonable but also fair.

The new measures – which foresee a freeze on repossessions but only for primary residences valued at up to 200,000 euros and households with an annual net income of under 35,000 euros – are designed to protect the most vulnerable members of society, and not those who can pay but who choose to take advantage of the moratorium.

Government authorities are no doubt trying to minimize the effects of the crisis and protect badly hit victims from losing their homes. At the same time, however, there is a need to ensure that bank transactions are carried out in good faith and to discourage the spread of a culture where people avoid fulfilling their financial obligations even though they are perfectly capable of doing so.

Failure to do so would mean the collapse of the banking system and the country.