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Consumer union claims there is an autogas cartel

The price of autogas in Cyprus is 40% higher than the average EU price prompting the Cyprus Consumers Union and Quality of Life to accuse stakeholders of monopolising the market and creating a cartel.

The Union points out that the price of autogas in Cyprus is nearly double that of the cheapest in the EU and calls for transparency with regards to the process by which the price for autogas in Cyprus was determined.

In an announcement on Tuesday, the Union notes that the introduction of autogas to Cyprus followed a three-year delay showed at the onset that petrol companies would be prone to follow the same, if not worse, practices as with conventional fuels.

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“We are talking about a monopoly and therefore a cartel,” said the Union asking how the retail price for autogas was determined.

“Was it decided by the cartel? Did the state have a role to play?” question the Union.

“Who will explain the inexplicable price which, in comparison, is 40% more expensive than the average price in the EU and nearly double that of the cheapest?” added the Union.

At the same time, the Union questions the role of the relative government department which deals with fuel prices.

“Has it become a petrol company representative who issues the fuel prices according to the decisions of the petrol companies?” said the Union.

The Cyprus Consumers Union has also questioned the validity of the latest increases in the price of fuel.

“Is it the small 2-3% increase in the price of crude that had to be absorbed first because previous reductions did not reach the lowest levels or should there have been a further reduction which is justified by the 10% increase in the value of the euro in relation to the dollar?”

According to the Cyprus Consumers Union, fuel prices have been reduced in nearly all EU countries since August 15 except Cyprus which is the only one to have noted an increase.

The Union has called on the Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis to adopt the policy of transparency and conducting a relevant study that he promised in order to take on the role of competition regulator and combatting cartels and profiteering.

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