By Peter Stevenson
THE leaders of AKEL and the Citizen’s Alliance met on Saturday to discuss energy, interest rates and extending loans at a meeting in Nicosia.
Andros Kyprianou and Giorgos Lillikas discussed the Alliance’s proposal on energy that was sent to President Nicos Anastasiades as well as their recommendation that a National Energy Council be formed.
Speaking after the meeting, Kyprianou expressed concern at the delay regarding the exploitation of Cyprus’ natural gas reserves.
“The current government is attempting to form structures and to anticipate developments that do not meet the Norwegian model followed by the previous government in which the state and the state hydrocarbons company played an essential role,” he said.
Kyprianou added that the way the current government is handling the situation will mean private companies will play a more important role in exploiting natural gas reserves and possibly reap the rewards.
“Everyone needs to contribute on the subject of energy so there can be collectiveness on the subject,” he added.
Kyprianou was asked by reporters if there was a possibility of cooperation between Cyprus, Greece, Israel and Turkey regarding using a Turkish pipeline to send gas to mainland Europe.
“How we will act on the matter depends on what will actually happen,” he said. AKEL’s leader also called on the government to create a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal as soon as possible.
He added that both parties discussed the regulation of interest rates and the extension of loans.
“AKEL has established that the way interest rates are regulated are not in favour of the public but mainly serve the interests of banks. We will exchange opinions and we hope cooperation will exist to help the public better,” Kyprianou said.
Lillikas said the Alliance’s proposal for the necessity of setting up a National Energy Council aims to achieve collectiveness. He added it would also help create a management strategy on the issue of energy.
“Both parties agree on a number of subjects regarding a national council which will help our dialogue and be the basis of a discussion with the government and other political parties on forming a common position,” he said.