The Council of Ministers, which convened on Wednesday for the last time under outgoing President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades, approved the extension of a subsidy for the cost of electricity consumption as well as reduced excise for specific products.
According to a written statement by Deputy Government Spokeswoman Niovi Parisinou, the Cabinet approved the extension of the measure that subsidizes the cost of electricity consumption with the aim to address inflationary pressures for two additional months, specifically, for the billing period of March - April 2023 (concerns electricity consumption in the period of January - February).
The estimated cost amounts to 30 million euros and covers 449,000 homes, 111,500 businesses as well as water consumption for water supply and irrigation purposes. It is noted that until today the government has subsidized with 58.4 million euros approximately, 1,353,088 electricity bills issued from 1/9/2022 to 31/1/2023.
In addition, to mitigate the effects of the ongoing war in Ukraine and especially the increased fuel prices, it approved a bill that extends for a period of two months, from March 1, 2023 until April 30, 2023, the reduced consumer tax rate for specific products.
The Council of Ministers also approved emergency state aid for the sheep and goat breeding sector, with 7 million euros.
Furthermore, it approved further subsidization of the transportation costs of the enclaved Greek Cypriots living in the Turkish-occupied areas of the island. It says that the journeys to and from Kormakitis and Karpasia are subsidized with the monthly amount of 850 euro (incl. VAT) instead of the current 750 euros while the routes to and from Rizokarpaso and Agia Triada Gialousa will be subsidized with the weekly amount of 225 euro (incl. VAT), instead of the current 200.
Cyprus has been divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion. Some 20,000 Greek Cypriots and Maronites chose not to leave their homes despite the Turkish occupation. Most of those who remained, mainly on the Karpasia Peninsula, were gradually forced to abandon the area. The number of Greek Cypriots and Maronites currently living in the area has plummeted to 300 persons.