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State should shoulder port fee increase – Neophytou

Disy leader Averof Neophytou on Wednesday proposed that the government absorb the cost of the looming rise of port fees in Limassol.

Neophytou wrote to Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos in which he also stated that the government could choose to not proceed with its share of the rise, at least in the short term, taking into consideration the potential impact a hike would have on consumers.

“For each problem there is always a reasonable and practical solution,” Neophytou said.

The issue arose earlier this week following reports that there was a planned increase in charges at Limassol port, with fears that knock-on effects could be felt throughout the supply chain and the wider economy.

Disy’s Fotini Tsiridou noted earlier this week that 63 per cent of the revenue of the terminal operator and 52 per cent of the revenue of the general cargo company went to the state which has so far seen an inflow of €201.6m.

Akel MP Costas Costa called the companies’ plans “scandalous” and slammed the government for allowing the situation to reach this point.

For its part, OEV (the employers and industrialists’ federation) wrote to the transport ministry on Wednesday saying that the port fees could have been limited to a five per cent rise instead of the looming 15 per cent.

OEV director general Michalis Antoniou said the group has communicated with the Eurogate and DP World companies to try and reach an agreement to limit the rise in port fees.

OEV said it recognised the limited scope within which the state can act to reduce the hike due to its contractual obligations.

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