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Cyprus

Energy crisis threatens municipal Christmas decorations

05

Municipalities have asked the finance minister to boost their state grants amid surging energy costs, with local authorities warning that some are on the verge of collapse and will have to slash consumption.

That means no Christmas decorations and lighting, as well as reducing or cutting lighting altogether at monuments, and fountains.  

“We are awaiting the meeting with the finance minister so that we can go over the details of the massive increase in operating costs due to soaring energy and fuel costs,” Andreas Vyras, Larnaca mayor and chairman of the union of municipalities, told Stockwatch. 

He warned that some local authorities are on the verge of collapse. 

Andreas Kitromilides, president of the union, said that short term measures will include the slashing of Christmas lighting which typically lasts for about a month to six weeks.  

He noted, however, that the handful of designated Christmas villages – mainly in the mountains – will be excluded from the cuts. 

Kitromilides said that consultations are underway for photovoltaic installations to boost the energy supply for local authorities, with EU funds covering 60 per cent of the cost.  

Michalis Socratous, also with the union of municipalities, issued similar warnings and said efforts are underway to install photovoltaic panels to offset the energy crisis. 

He explained to Stockwatch that Latsia proceeded with an 80-megawatt installation on a municipal building and will soon be hooked up to the EAC grid.  

“Latsia municipality will save around 40 per cent of its energy consumption,” he said.  

Asked about the LED street lighting installations taken up by 90 per cent of municipalities, he explained that this was nullified by soaring energy costs. 

Cyprus is seeking exemptions from proposals underway from the EU to limit energy consumption, such as establishing “mandatory targets” for limiting power use during peak hours.  

“This calls for smart reduction in demand. We need a strategy to flatten the peaks,” Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission president, said last month. 

The cuts amid a gloomy outlook ahead of winter have caused concern worldwide, with Germany largely the focus – with some municipalities telling residents to have cold showers.  

 

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