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Fuel subsidy ends, prices return to previous levels (Updated)

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The additional 8.3 cents per litre on petrol came into effect across the island as of 8:30am on Saturday, according to Marios Drousiotis, head of the consumers association.

The average fuel prices now stand at €1.47 per litre of 95 octane, €1.49 for diesel, and €1.04 for heating oil.

Cabinet also tightened the electricity subsidies, with Phileleftheros reporting that the move will cost the average household about €70 every two months.

The move by cabinet to scrap the reduced rates on motor and heating fuel has drawn mixed reaction, but Drousiotis said the decision was justified as prices have come down.

“Since July 12, 2022, petrol has decreased by 44.3 cents, diesel by 58 cents, and heating oil by 54 cents,” he explained.

But Drousiotis emphasised that the government must make sure that the additional levies are also used to help those in need.

The Cyprus News Agency quoted Paphos residents as saying that they are deeply concerned by the additional cost, warning of knock-on impacts.

Christos Hadjiefthymiou said: “The increase will be felt throughout other links in the chain, as it’s an increase in electricity and fuel prices – unfortunately peoples’ pockets aren’t deep enough to cover the increase, people will suffer.”

Another resident, Andreas Christodoulou, said the increases will raise the cost of other products.

Finance Minister Makis Keravnos said on Wednesday that the decision was made after considering all available data and the reduced fuel prices.

As for the tweaking of the electricity subsidies, Keravnos said that vulnerable groups will remain eligible for state assistance.

The measure will cost €2.5 million and will last until the end of September.

Vulnerable groups include those receiving Guaranteed Minimum Income, disabled persons, those unable to work, single parents, those with large families, people who receive disability pensions and the unemployed.

Ahead of the reduced rate of VAT on fuel being scrapped, the association of petrol station owners carried out a demonstration in Nicosia.

They blocked central roads in the capital with fuel tankers, protesting unfair competition due to illegal fuel imports from the north.

It was agreed that the seizure of fuel from the north both at the crossing points and across the Republic will be announced and made public immediately to work as a deterrent.

President Nikos Christodoulides said all checks allowed by the Green Line regulations will take place.

“I want to be completely honest. Indeed there is a problem,” he said.

“I am very aware of the concerns, there is also the issue of unfair competition especially when it is used for commercial purposes. I understand when it is for private use, but when it is for commercial purposes it is something that is not allowed.”

The government has made clear that it is not illegal for Greek Cypriots to fill their tanks in the north, while they can also bring 10 litres in a jerry can.

 

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