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Growing chagrin over new port charges

Limassol port

The Cyprus Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Keve) on Friday slammed the managing companies at Limassol port, which, according to reports, are prepared to increase charges that will burden businesses with additional costs during an already extremely difficult time for them.

Keve general secretary Marios Tsiakkis said the timing could not be worse for an increase in charges and called on the three managing companies at the Limassol port to reconsider their decision.

“We feel their decision is wrong and short-sighted,” he told Cybc radio “Moreover, it was taken having in mind only exports and forgetting the domestic market.

“Keve’s position is clear. Businesses cannot afford another increase in charges and our members cannot accept this.”

Tsiakkis added that a few days ago, before the spike in charges was announced, he took part in a meeting at the transport ministry with the representatives of the three companies. While two decided to study the issues presented by Keve, one went ahead with the announcing the higher charges.

The Keve general secretary said that if the other two companies will follow suit, he will have no choice but to bring the matter to President Nicos Anastasiades, “who will have to intervene in the matter.”

“The government simply needs to get involved. The transport ministry also confirmed the increase in charges is completely unjustified,” Tsiakkis said, referring to the director general of the transport ministry Stavros Michael, who said that the increased charges would highly disrupt the market.

“We are trying to persuade the three managing companies from going ahead with their plans,” Michael told the Cyprus News Agency.

“An increase in charges will have very serious consequences on the economy, which will end up impacting them as well. It is simply illogical.”

According to Michael, a final decision on the issue will be taken in the next few days, after the one company which decided to go ahead with the charge increases was asked to reconsider its plans.

“In case the increased charges will stand, all players involved will need to be prepared to handle the difficult situation that will arise,” Michael concluded.

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