Letter by the General Secretary of AKEL to the President – AKEL on tackling price hikes and supporting consumers
6 September 2021, AKEL C.C. Press Office, Nicosia
“…The sharp increase in the price of electricity and fuel is causing problems and having negative effects on the economy and society. For the vulnerable groups of the population, the small and medium-sized strata and small and medium-sized enterprises in particular, the difficulties are even greater.
The effects of these increases are cascading, while at the same time there is a big increase in the price of other essentials. Protecting consumers, vulnerable groups and small and medium-sized enterprises is primarily the responsibility of the government, so is the stamping out of price hike profiteering. It is characteristic that every time fuel prices increase internationally in Cyprus, they shoot up, while when they fall, in Cyprus this is extremely measured.
It should be noted that the whole situation is aggravated to a great extent by the failure of the Government to implement the commitments it undertook for the arrival of natural gas for the production of electricity, for a greater penetration of renewable energy sources in electricity production, for the liberalisation of production in electricity, etc.
It is therefore imperative that measures are taken in a targeted way to help mitigate the problems caused by the increase in the price of electricity. The liberalisation of the market in electricity generation, which was mentioned by the Minister of Energy Natasha Pilidou, as a measure to address the increase in electricity prices, will not be implemented before the second half of 2022. It is for this reason that in our view, temporary immediate measures must be sought to help address the situation. One such measure may be the absorption of part of the increase in price by the Cyprus Electricity Authority (AHK), a measure that was implemented during the pandemic.
Society and the economy are in need of targeted protection in the face of the increases in the price of electricity, fuel and other essential goods and necessities.
Having this situation in mind, which is constantly deteriorating, we have not seen any real will on the part of the government to act decisively in the direction of protecting consumers.
As this is a matter of survival for thousands of fellow citizens, AKEL will take initiatives on the issue of the increase in the price of electricity, fuel and price hikes. We hope that the Government will study our proposals in a positive spirit and act so as to relieve a large section of society suffering from price hikes and profiteering.
General Secretary of the C.C. of AKEL”