Cheaper fuel in north lures Greek Cypriot motorists

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Despite petrol prices in the Turkish occupied north following a similar upward trend as in the Republic, they are still significantly lower by around 35%, attracting Greek Cypriot motorists to fill up.

As fuel prices in the Republic reach the €2 per litre barrier, the number of vehicles crossing the divide northward is also rising as prices there are around €1.30 per litre.

According to Cyprus Police data, 916, or 38% more vehicles registered in the Republic, crossed checkpoints on Saturday compared to the previous Saturday.

On Saturday, 28 May, 2,368 vehicles travelled north, compared to the 3,284 vehicles crossing on 4 June.

Not all vehicles crossing are heading for a Turkish Cypriot petrol station, but the big difference in prices is tempting enough for a Greek Cypriot motorist.

According to the Commerce Ministry’s Consumer Protection Department, the average price of 95 Octane petrol on Monday was €1.749 per litre, 98 Octane €1.802 and Diesel €1.838.

Turkish Cypriot petrol stations sell 95 Octane petrol at an average price of €1.319, 98 Octane petrol at €1.334 and Diesel at €1.244.

According to the Cyprus Statistical Service, liquid fuel prices in the Republic increased by 33.63% in May from January.

Petrol station owners have been calling on authorities to take measures to prevent Greek Cypriot motorists from filling up in the north.

Main opposition AKEL has asked the government to comment on how much revenue state coffers are losing as large numbers of Greek Cypriots head north for fuel.