The accuracy has been galloping for a long time and will become more intense now due to the Ukrainian issue, said the Secretary General of AKEL, Stefanos Stefanou, on the sidelines of a meeting he had with the President of the Cyprus Institute, Costas N. Papanikolas. He also said that Cyprus would be better off today if the government acted cautiously for strategic grain stocks.
Answering a question about AKEL's proposal for a fuel price ceiling, Mr. Stefanou said that the Government should activate all mechanisms in order to deal first of all with the scandal, which usually occurs when there are price increases. of goods. The ceiling is used not only in case of scandal but also to relieve households and businesses when there is a rapid rise in prices, he pointed out.
Regarding the issue of grain imports, the General Secretary of AKEL said that the Government closed the Cereals Committee, left the issue to an oligopoly, and has not taken care to implement the law on strategic stocks. AKEL proposes a series of measures – not only the use of the ceiling – in relation to the price of electricity and other goods, so that Cyprus can provide raw materials and other necessary goods. “This is primarily the responsibility of the government,” he said.
Responding to a journalist's remark that the Government has purchased 36 tons of grain, Mr. Stefanou said that in October 2021 AKEL had told the Government to use the silos in Limassol and to negotiate with the three importers to ensure the strategic reserves. “Obviously the government has done nothing and now it is running to secure resources – because it has a problem with Ukraine and Russia – at much higher prices. That is why the government is not saying anything. “He is running behind the events,” he said. “If it worked proactively, then we might be better off today,” he said.
“We have been shouting for a long time for accuracy because the government is cultivating the impression that accuracy will now emerge because of the situation in Ukraine,” Stefanou said. “Accuracy has been galloping for a long time. It will become more intense now because of the situation in Ukraine, so the Government needs to be quick and always try to work for the benefit of society and the economy. He took two specific measures. We said it was in the right direction. They are not enough. More will need to be taken. “We have proposals, we are waiting for the Government to call us to express our views”, he added.
“I want to make it clear that we never said that the problem of accuracy arose entirely as a result of government policies. It is clear that there have been increases in commodities internationally for several months. Since then, the Government had to act. “Increases in goods such as electricity and fuel are partly due to the fact that the Government either did not take the decisions it should have taken or took wrong decisions”, stressed the Secretary General of AKEL.
In addition, Mr. Stefanou spoke about the Government's stance on issues such as the payment of tens of millions of euros for pollutants, the reduction of VAT from 19% to 9%, the proposal to end the kilowatt hour fee for renewable energy sources (RES), and the proposal for convening the Board of Governors.
“We do not want it to appear at this time – and we do not – that we want to take advantage of the situation to criticize. It is not a criticism that we make, we make proposals but the Government did not even accept to discuss these proposals “he said and wondered” when we managed to pass through the Parliament the reduction of VAT from 19% to 9% it is not the Government that mentioned law in the Supreme “. He also wondered why the Government did not discuss the issue of ending the fee of half a cent per kilowatt hour for the purposes of RES, when he spoke about this AKEL.
“Whenever we make a proposal, the Government comes and rejects it and says that we more or less do not know the situation. I think everyone can judge us. We go with suggestions. And when we asked the President to convene the Board of Governors to discuss the situation as it is, it is to contribute to the reflection and to submit proposals. And this is what the official opposition does. With a lot of responsibility and concern for what will happen in the place “he concluded.