Socialist Edek on Friday suggested motorists going to the north should be required to cross with a three-quarters full tank, or pay €500, as a means of stopping them from filling their tanks with cheaper fuel.

In a brief announcement, Edek said it has submitted the proposal due to the amount of money the state is losing as Greek Cypriots flock to the north following the ending of the government fuel subsidy at the end of June.

The government needed to recoup the tens of millions in lost revenue since then that would have allowed them to continue with the subsidy.

“In order to reduce or even stop the illegal supply of fuel from the occupied territories, it is necessary to tighten the control at the entry points,” Edek said in its statement.

The party is proposing that at the crossing points, where hundreds of cars cross every day, vehicles be checked by customs.

If a fuel tank is less than three-quarters full, the motorist should be given the option of either turning back and filling up or pay €500 to cross to the north.

“By applying this proposal, the state, we repeat, will recover lost revenue and will be able to subsidise fuel to bring down prices,” the party said, adding that in this way, the “bleeding of the economy” would stop.

“We believe that the proposal is both realistic and workable and we call on the government and the ministry of commerce to study it,” Edek concluded.

Former Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides mocked the Edek proposal on social media platform X later on Friday saying that checking people’s fuel tanks was illegal and this was clarified by the EU.

“To help I would add one more measure: a mandatory gastroscopy to check how many guests are sufficiently ‘famous’ to prevent the possibility of eating in a fake restaurant! Impressions do not solve the [fuel] problem. Only a Cyprus solution, which Edek has always stood against!”

Edek than responded to Petrides saying they were disappointed.

“We expected more seriousness from a politician who was a member of the executive branch for ten years,” the party said.

“We expected the former minister to know that the fuel from the occupied areas does not meet the specifications of the European Union, as it exceeds the permitted emission limits of lead and sulphur and does not contain biofuels at a rate of 7 per cent,” it added. “We also expected a former minister of finance to want to recover lost state revenue.”

On Petrides’ “moral position” that Edek does not want a Cyprus solution, the party said it would like to ask him why did the government of which he was a member for ten years not solve the Cyprus issue. “Because they didn’t want to?”