Petrol station owners are taking action on Tuesday, June 27, to protest the lack of adequate controls at roadblocks, which they claim is adversely affecting their businesses. Savvas Prokopiou, the president of the Association of Petrol Station Owners, expressed concern over the large number of vehicles crossing to the occupied territories to refuel, resulting in significant losses for petrol stations in free areas. The situation is particularly challenging for stations located near the roadblocks, putting their survival at stake with estimated turnover losses of around 30-40%.
Although the mobilization is not directly related to the government's decision on the fuel excise tax, it is indirectly connected due to the significant price difference between fuel in the occupied territories and free areas, currently estimated at approximately 50 cents per liter. If the tax is reintroduced, the price gap will widen further, reinforcing the trend of motorists refueling in the occupied territories.
Petrol station owners are proposing intensified checks at roadblocks using thermal cameras, and they suggest requiring vehicles to have at least three-quarters of their tanks full when crossing to the occupied territories.
Despite numerous meetings and contacts with the Customs Department and relevant Ministry to address the issue, no significant steps have been taken to resolve it. Therefore, the decision to initiate mobilization was made, starting at 11 am on Tuesday. The petrol station operators will gather at the State Fair site, proceed to the St. Dometius roadblock, and eventually deliver a memorandum to the President at the Presidential Palace. This initial action is part of a series of measures they are prepared to take, as they believe their businesses' viability is at stake and there is no longer any room for negotiation.