Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (24.08.18) reports that “minister of economy and energy” Ozdil Nami said that the electricity prices, which are constantly rising because of their dependence on the foreign exchange rate, as well as fuel prices are no longer sustainable.
In an interview to “Haber Kibris” agency (HK), Nami noted that Cyprus is in a lucky geographical position regarding its solar energy generation potential, adding that experts continue to work intensively on different alternatives on the issues of renewable energy. He explained that on the one hand, there’s renewable energy and on the other is the electricity cable link between Turkey and the “TRNC” (the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus).
Noting that these are projects which support each other and both will be materialized very soon, Nami stressed that a serious effort to minimise or eliminate energy costs is being made.
Arguing that the most important element to electricity production is the fuel which constitutes two thirds of the cost, Nami claimed that to avoid price fluctuations they should seek different sources. He added: “We did this for a while, but these possibilities were exhausted. So the duty which falls to all of us is to do whatever maximum savings we can at home”. He continued by giving examples of reducing energy around the home.
He further said: “I wish the state had other revenue streams that could keep the price of fuel or electricity low by subsidizing it”. He argued that “the government has taken measures twice on price regulations and the reduction in prices has not been passed on to the people”, adding that these possibilities both in electricity and in fuel have been exhausted. In a period where the dollar is fluctuating so much, Nami said that a price regulation should be done and to examine how “cheap electricity” can be produced.
Asked to comment if the “ministry” has made a study on this issue, Nami announced that “Kib-Tek” (Turkish Cypriot authority of electricity) and employees from the ministry are continuously doing research on this issue and the counterparts from Turkey are also helping them regarding this. He also said that he has almost every week a meeting with his “counterpart” in Turkey; “Kib-Tek” is doing its own research, as well as businessmen that inform the “ministry” on their progress.
Asked if there would be an increase in electricity rates again next month, Nami said: “This is not an issue that is up to us to decide. This is regulated by the legislation. We have changed the relevant legislation to delay the reflection period and have increased the rate of the price adjustment but of course there are limitations, but when this day comes it will be done. As the dollar rates go up, these price adjustments are inevitable. We put certain pressure on the fuel by sacrificing the state price stability fund, but we have already reached its lowest limit. These are the things we have to do. However, if we do not make these adjustments, it will lead to much bigger problems and higher costs in the future for our economy and especially our institutions such as Kib-Tek.
Nami stressed that the issue of transferring electricity with a cable should be seriously considered, but it would be a long-term solution. He added that reports on how the interconnected system would bring down the cost have been submitted to them and now they are in the process of verifying these reports. Noting that “there is a protocol signed between the governments of TRNC and Turkey for implementing the cable”, Nami said that “this protocol constitutes the legal ground of the ongoing works”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog newspaper (24.08.18) reports that the “chairman” of the “Lefka tourism council”, Hasan Karlitas, in a written statement demanded the opening of the Deryneia and Apliki crossing points the soonest possible.
In his statement, Karlitas reiterated the need for the two crossing points to open simultaneously and stressed the need for the technical problems to be solved the soonest possible and without any other delay.
Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (24.08.18) reports that long lineswere created yesterday at the Agios Dometios crossing point, since the Turkish Cypriots who are celebrating the Bayram Feast, chose yesterday, the third day of the feast to spend their time in the free area of the Republic of Cyprus.
According to the paper the majority of the Turkish Cypriots chooses to spend their holidays in the Republic of Cyprus and disregard the economic crisis after the remarkable loss of the Turkish Lira against the foreign currencies, including the Euro.
The paper underlines that heavy traffic was observed during the last weeks with the increase of the crossings of Greek Cypriots to the occupied area of Cyprus.
Turkish daily Sabah (24.08.18-https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2018/08/24/turkey-russia-relations-important-for-regional-stability-fm-cavusoglu-says) reports that Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who is visiting Moscow today, said that good relations between Turkey and Russia are important for the region's stability.
Speaking in a joint press conference after a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in, Cavusoglu said that bilateral relations were improving day by day, referring to Russia as Turkey's "strategic partner."
Meanwhile, Lavrov said that Russia attaches great importance to the ongoing cooperation with Turkey regarding various international issues, adding that the military cooperation between the two countries was also intensely developing.
He added that Russia and Turkey agreed to establish a joint mechanism to ease the visa regime for Turkish nationals.
Apart from bilateral relations, Syria was another important topic in the meeting with the situation in north western province of Idlib, the only region still controlled by opposition groups, being in the forefront.
"We should continue to work together to maintain the ceasefire in Syria, the Astana deal and its spirit. We also need to increase our efforts for a political process," Cavusoglu said, adding that a commission to rewrite the new Constitution of the war-torn country should soon be established.
Cavusoglu also said that radical groups in Syria's Idlib disturbed moderate the opposition and civilians, adding that they caused difficulties while Turkey was establishing observation points agreed in Astana process.
"On the other hand, a military solution in Idlib would lead to a catastrophe, not only for Idlib, but for all of Syria. There are nearly 3.5 million civilians," Cavusoglu underlined.
He further said that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani would come together in the upcoming days, adding that a summit would take place in Iran's Tehran with a similar format of the previous Sochi meetings.
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