Larnaca public buses company Zenon has threatened to stop its service if it does not receive its state subsidy of €250,000.
“We’ve had issues with the government since the start of our operation,” said Zenon chairman Pantelis Pantelides.
“The government has an obligation to help us, but so far we have been chasing them in vain.”
Pantelides’ claims were denied by transport ministry official Stavros Michail who said that the government was actually helping the company, so there was no reason to stop the bus service.
“Zenon is experiencing difficulties with their buses because there is a large number of shareholders in the company.”
Pantelides, however complained that the company has been wrongly accused of mismanagement over the years.
He also said that, under the new tenders awarded at the beginning of December, from July 2020 the government will pay the new operator €4 million more per year to provide the same service Zenon is already offering.
“Our company has run up a deficit of €250,000 up to now and, unless the amount owed to us is paid, we will not operate a bus service,” Pantelides said.
He asked for a meeting with the transport minister to discuss the issue, which Michail confirmed it will take place this week.
Michail finally said that it was known for years that there would be new tenders at the end of ten years, adding it is in line with the law and with the “laws of competition.”