By Alexander Apostolides on July 16, 2011

Congratulating the Communal Chamber of Commerce

**** I am not saying that the government did not aid the Chamber for this agreement to happen; all I am pointing out that a braver decision was to be candid about our energy means and do it directly****

The Cypriot Chambers of Commerce (Greek and Turkish Cypriot) have reached an agreement in providing at least 70 MW of electricity from the Turkish Cypriot power station. This is the greatest relief for the economy and once again the private sector has steeped up to make decisive steps where the government prevaricated.

Electricity was always provided across the green line from the Republic of Cyprus to the Turkish Cypriots - this needed no involvement of the private sector and it went without saying that no one in the Turkish Cypriot Community thought that this entailed recognition of the sovereignty of Republic.

However the latest request to receive electricity was transformed into a major political issue by the government, with the Government spokesman saying that this would take place only if it would not entail recognition. His comments show lack of knowledge about the issues of the Cyprus problem.

It is endemic of the lack of a clear line from the top down to the whole government apparatus in how to behave in communal matters. There are very clear things that entail recognition, and also clear what things led to recognition. The republic and the Turkish Cypriot communities have constant interaction about day to day issues. In fact more informal interaction needs to be encouraged: Is it better to let a murderer run away because you do not want notify the police of the other community that he fled across the Green line? The answer is no - informal negotiations for mutual benefit happen even between parties at time of war.

However the government prevaricated, making a non-political issue political. Once again the Chambers of Commerce have shown that it can step up where the government prevaricates. It has secured a deal that saves us for a looming disaster: the existing electricity capacity is failing under the strain. The diagram below
explains the issue.

Our productive capacity has been suffering from using it 100% all the time and its falling to even less than 40% of what we had before the accident. From having a problem between the hours of 11 and 6 we now have a problem from 7:00am to 1:00 am the next day. We are not just in a power shortage crisis in peak periods any more: we are in crisis in all periods!.

EUROKO is pandering to the masses saying that we do not need the T/C power. This is an outright lie. The loss of man hours through unpredictable power cuts is approximately 1 billion alone if we can build sufficient capacity by December.

The new generating equipment for Israel and Greece will only provide at best 15% of T/C electricity. Any floating unit will provide an additional 30 MW (30% of T/C power. EUROKO (and DHKO's Nikos Papadopoulos) are being totally irresponsible in arguing that rationing or other sources can lead to an increase in capacity: T/C power is the best way to stop our economy bleeding to death. In a national crisis, we all need to stop and think of the consequences of what we are suggesting: EUROKO (and DHKO's Nikos Papadopoulos) by rubbishing the agreement, effectively tells us that even greater electricity rationing and much harder economic hardship is worth it, even if there is no issue of recognition. This is unacceptable behaviour.

The best and immediate way to get electricity is the solution that did not have to be political and that a prevaricating government let the private sector to finalize. Well done the Chambers of Commerce on both communities: showing us that tough times needs rapid and brave decisions.

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