By Andria Kades
July has come and gone but the promised electronic platform announcing real-time fuel prices at every petrol station across the country has not come about.
Announced by the energy ministry early in July, the Cyprus Consumers Association (CCA) issued a statement pointing out earlier promises by the state that the platform would be up and running by the end of July.
The ministry website says the app was currently being tested.
Fuel prices before tax are still more than €0.03 more expensive in Cyprus than the European Union average, the CCA said while the expected €0.02 drop in the price of fuel on the island is far smaller than the one expected internationally, particularly after the fall in price of raw materials.
“The reality in Cyprus is that since the middle of January until the beginning of August, fuel prices have increased about €0.20 while today we expect a fall close to €0.02 and this is not even on all types of fuel.”
Commenting on the “incomprehensible” pricing system on the island, the CCA said the real picture was kept secret by petroleum companies and the energy ministry itself.
“Companies might have every reason to keep these (accurate) prices secret but we disagree with the ministry’s politics, they could have obtained a licence to publish at least the three month Platts price assessments so consumers could have a better picture.”
The situation surrounding the fuel pricing system in Cyprus has created an environment where consumers follow the price of a barrel of crude and the fluctuating exchange rate of the euro compared to the US dollar “in an effort to understand if there will be reductions and when.”
CCA said it is looking forward to results of a study commissioned by the energy ministry on ways to combat the fuel pricing matter and exert efforts to make this a transparent system “because increases in prices are almost immediately seen at petrol stations but the falling prices take a while.”