Statement by AKEL C.C. Spokesperson Giorgos Koukoumas

10% increase in food but the government isn’t moved
Meeting of the General Secretary of the C.C. of AKEL with a delegation from the Xinjiang province of P.R of China

9 September 2023, AKEL C.C. Press Office, Nicosia

The General Secretary of the Central Committee of AKEL, Stefanos Stefanou, had a meeting yesterday with Aierken Tuniyazi, Governor of Xinjiang Province of the People’s Republic of China, and member of the C.C. of the Communist Party of China, who led a big delegation from Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The delegation was accompanied by Ambassador of the P.R of China to Cyprus, Liu Yantao.

During the meeting, Stefanos Stefanou briefed the Chinese delegation on the current situation surrounding the Cyprus problem and thanked them for China’s consistent principled stance on the Cyprus problem.

The General Secretary of AKEL expressed his satisfaction with the level of mutually beneficial bilateral relations between the two countries and between AKEL and the Communist Party of China. He stressed the importance of the continued development of relations and cooperation in areas of common interest that contribute to mutual understanding and the safeguarding of peace.

Aierken Tuniyazi, briefed the AKEL delegation on the situation in Xinjiang province. He stressed that the province he leads is experiencing rapid economic and social development which is being channeled to the entire population. Furthermore, he noted that the province pays special attention to respecting human rights and to the cultivation and development of the language and culture of China’s minorities and ethnic groups.

The Governor of Xinjiang Province reaffirmed China’s principled position on the Cyprus problem and its interest in safeguarding international peace. He stressed the readiness to develop cooperation and exchanges at all levels between Xinjiang Province and Cyprus and invited the General Secretary of AKEL to visit it.

The General Secretary of the C.C. of AKEL was accompanied by a delegation consisting of Nikos Ioannou member of the Central Secretariat, Vera Polycarpou member of the C.C. and Head of the International Relations and European Policy Sector, and C.C. members Marios Panagi, Ilias Demetriou and Marina Savva.
8 September 2023, AKEL C.C. Press Office, Nicosia

Increases in food and other basic goods have reached 10%, but the government does not seem to be moved. We hope that it will not suggest to citizens to cut down on food, as we were told – in the middle of a heatwave – to do so with air conditioners and electricity. All this is in addition to the increases and the expensiveness that is sweeping across society. In the price of electricity, fuel, rents and in the successive increases in interest rates that are exerting enormous pressure on the vast majority of society.

However, to date, not only has the government not presented any plan to curb expensiveness and high prices, but even the measures that existed – on electricity and fuel – have been terminated.

AKEL proposes and demands two immediate and fully implementable measures that can provide relief for households, young couples and small businesses. Firstly, to reinstate the support measures for electricity and fuel and secondly, to subsidise the interest rate on mortgages for middle and low-income groups.

These both measures must and indeed can be done. They can be implemented, on the one hand, by using part of the increased state revenues stemming from the increases that people are paying twice for. On the other hand, with the revenues from the taxation of the exorbitant profits of the banks, something that AKEL has long been calling for and which is already being applied in other European states.

The Christodoulides government must stop issuing statements expressing sympathy and understanding, but proceed to provide concrete solutions.

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