Calls to rescind fuel price hike
FUEL prices rose gain this week, sparking a wave of anger among trade unions, and demands that the government-imposed hike be rescinded.
The latest hefty increase at the pumps, in the face of a slump in the value of the Turksh lira against hard currencies, saw the price of a litre of 98-octane petrol go up from 4.07TL to 4.37TL and 95-octane from 3.88TL to 4.19TL. Euro diesel went up from 3.83TL to 4.02TL.
The rises mean the cost of 98-octane fuel has risen by 33 kuruş since December, 95octane by 34 kuruş and Euro diesel by 55 kuruş.
Animal Breeders’ Union chairman Mustafa Naimoğulları demanded officials take “measures” including setting duty on goods imported from Turkey in TL, saying their costs had gone up, while the TL slide had rendered what they were owed by the government “meaningless”.
He said price rises affected everyone, and people would “be left with no choice but to hit the streets if nothing was done”.
“The government has to take urgent measures. People’s purchasing power has declined and producers are unable to produce,” he said.
Güven Bengihan, chairman of the Ktams public sector trade union slammed ministers as being “on the way to becoming not a government of deeds, but of price hikes”.
He claimed on Wednesday the coalition had come to power on the back of promises to solve problems, but was “failing to meet people’s expectations”.
While they were expecting urgent government measures in the face of the TL “meltdown”, he said, ministers had instead put fuel up — action that would spark a chain reaction of price rises, “sweeping” the lowest paid and those on fixed incomes “towards economic annihilation”.
Hürrem Tulga, of the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Shopkeekers and Artisans, demanded the fuel hike be withdrawn and urged the government to “be brave and touch lives”.
“Life has come to a standstill,” he said. There had been “a pretence to increase wages”, but a 14 per cent slide in the TL since December meant “what was given has been taken back”.
FINANCE Minister Serdar Denktaş, who discussed exchange rate fluctuations with Turkish counterpart Naci Ağbal in Ankara on Thursday, said he believed the current situation was a shortterm one that “will be overcome”.
Finance Minister Serdar Denktas and Turkish Finance Minister Naci Ağbal in Ankara