Cypriot Drivers Filling Their Tanks Cheaper on Occupied Side

In this photo taken on Tuesday Nov. 5, 2019, a Turkish, left, and a Turkish Cypriot breakaway flags are seen at a military guard post by a U.N sing inside the U.N buffer zone that divides the Greek Cypriot south and the Turkish Cypriot north, in divided capital Nicosia, Cyprus. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

NICOSIA – Upset with rising prices on their side, Cypriot drivers are increasingly going onto the side occupied by Turkey to fill their tanks and as the government hasn’t yet met energy goals set by the European Union.

The Cypriot government has reportedly lost 31.9 million euros ($35.42 million) in tax revenues to the Turkish-Cypriots who are eager for all the money they can get in their lonely republic that no other country in the world accepts since an unlawful 1974 Turkish invasion.

That’s on top of another 25.2 million euros ($27.98 million) in diesel fuel sales with gas prices rising in Cyprus where the legitimate government hasn’t met targets, and as the price on the occupied side is less.

In a report, Kathimerini Cyprus said that critics and consumer advocates said fuel prices were being driven up by cartels and lack of competition, while industry officials insisted it’s because of unpredictable and fluctuating costs.

Cyprus hasn’t hit an EU target of 10 percent in renewable energy sources, drawing flak for the government, the effort lagging for more than a decade with the goal deadline coming by the end of this year.

Cyprus is currently at 5 percent, according to information provided by the Energy Ministry, while an ongoing effort to reach 7.3 percent consists of a plan to blend certified clean fuel with conventional fuel supplies.

Still, some critics said that would just drive the prices up even more because biofuel production is expensive due to higher labor costs and strict environmental standards.

Cyprus is facing fines from the EU unless it can show how to wean the country off of fossil fuels with fears the prices at the pump could possibly go up another 2.5 euro cents, including taxes.