The Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) agrees with the government’s priority to bring natural gas το Cyprus, in order to produce cheap electricity, said CCCI President Christodoulos Angastiniotis, after a meeting held between CCCI and President of the Republic, Nikos Christodoulides, on Tuesday.

During the meeting, which was also attended by the Minister of Finance, Makis Keravnos, many issues concerning CCCI, the economy and the Cyprus problem were discussed, said Angastiniotis in a statement afterwards.

In relation to the Cyprus issue, the President of CCCI stated that “we are fully aligned with the Government”, while noting the actions of the Chamber regarding cooperation with the Turkish Cypriots, the Green Line, meetings with Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Cyprus Colin Stuart and the participation of CCCI in a bicommunal technical committee on economic matters.

Answering a question related to trade through the Green Line, Angastiniotes said that CCCI is a partner in the Green Line Regulation, which was adopted by EU in 2004 in an effort to contribute to closer ties between the island’s two communities, defining the legal framework on the crossing of goods, persons and services to and from the island’s northern Turkish occupied areas.

Angastiniotes also emphasized the cooperation between CCCI and the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KTTO), with which there is an agreement since 1973. “We are planning many joint actions, in order to facilitate, within the framework of legality and justice, the strengthening of commercial relations between the two communities and the facilitation of Turkish Cypriot businesses to harmonize with European standards”, he noted.

Regarding the issue of the utilization of natural gas, CCCI President, answering a question, stated that the Government’s priority is correct for part of the natural gas deposits, which exist in the EEZ, to come to Cyprus so that cheap electricity can be generated. “The deposits we have exceed the needs of Cyprus, so we will not disappoint our partners, Israel, Egypt, etc.”, he noted, adding that Cyprus’ needs today do not exceed 20-22% of the deposits.

“First we will bring natural gas to Cyprus for power generation and then or at the same time, the process will be carried out to put forward its commercialisation” he said, stressing that the cost of electricity for households and businesses is “unacceptably unaffordable.”

Other topics that CCCI discussed with President Christodoulides included labour issues, the evolution of COLA institution, trade and industry issues, port tariffs, business problems such as electricity costs, rising labour costs, labour shortages, the policy of employing third-country nationals.

“We expressed our positive opinion on the actions that are being taken but stated that all will be judged by the result. We hope that what was announced will be followed and implemented as soon as possible”, Angastiniotis concluded.

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