by Ioanna Kyriakou
The issue of fuel supply from the occupied territories seems to be taking on a dimension of its own as the Association of Petrol Distributors is preparing to file a complaint with the European Union. As 'K' reports, the problem is enormous and year after year more and more vehicles are passing from the free to the occupied areas in order to be refuelled. Speaking to the President of petrol station owners, Mr. Savvas Prokopiou, we were told that the intention of the Association is not to complain but to appeal to the European Union for help over this issue.
180 million euros a year pass into the occupied territories in fuel, or about 15 million euros a month. As a result, the Republic of Cyprus loses 80 million from fuel taxes and VAT.
The profits gained in the occupied territories and the loss for the Republic of Cyprus
The Petrol Station Owners Association are expressing their concern about the magnitude of the problem. Speaking to K, the Association's press spokesman, Christodoulos Christodoulou, said that 180 million euros a year pass into the occupied territories in fuel, or about 15 million euros a month. As a result, the Republic of Cyprus loses 80 million from fuel taxes and VAT. In fact, as he said, this amount in the same period of time is 2.5 times greater than the loss of VAT on "golden passports". Asked about the difference in the price of fuel, Christodoulou said that in the occupied territories, petrol is around 1 euro and oil is 1.15, while in the free areas petrol is 1.50 and oil is 1.80.
They are demanding the enforcement of the Green Line Regulation
In order to stop this phenomenon, the petrol station owners will appeal to the relevant Commission by filing a complaint with the Republic of Cyprus. "We want this illegality to stop and the Green Line regulation to be implemented," Christodoulou explained. It is noted that according to the regulation it is forbidden for anything coming from the closed ports, namely Famagusta and Kyrenia, to reach the free areas. On the other hand, anything produced or counterfeited in the occupied territories is allowed up to 260 euros per day.
[This article was translated from its Greek original]