Calls to re­scind fuel price hike

Cyprus Today - - NEWS -

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

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