Cyprus Mail
Cyprus

Diko proposes calling on EU to subsidise flights to Cyprus

Diko leader Nicolas Papadopoulos

Diko said Tuesday it would try and secure EU funds to subsidise airfares by 20 per cent for Cypriots travelling to and from the island who currently pay higher costs than in other EU countries.

“Cyprus’ geographic location, on top of being an island, weighs significantly on the cost of moving to European Union countries,” the party said.

“This constitutes discrimination against Cypriot citizens because it hinders their contact with the other member states, which in turn, has negative effects on their social and economic activity.”

Diko said a return ticket from Athens to Paris costs around €200 whereas to fly to the French capital from Larnaca with the same company was €320.

Similarly, a return ticket from Athens to Rome costs €260 while Larnaca-Rome would set a traveller back €380.

The party said it checked the prices on Monday for a trip scheduled in June.

The party said securing the funds from the EU was a key priority, which will be advanced through the European Parliament and by putting pressure on the Cypriot government.

Diko general secretary said the cost was around €40m per year.

The subsidy would cover 20 per cent of the airfare of every Cypriot to and from any EU country for up to 10 trips. Each return travel counts as two trips.

Diko said it was a fair measure because it somewhat counter-balanced the current inequality and would mainly support students and entrepreneurs.

It said the funds would come from the EU’s Cohesion Fund and the Regional Development Funds, as well as through pressure on the government to adopt the measure.

At first glance, neither the cohesion nor the regional development funds covered a project of this nature.

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