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Aviation greenhouse gas reductions should not undermine Cyprus’ connectivity -Transport Minister

June 10, 2019 at 8:37am

Efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the aviation industry should not make ticket prices prohibitive for citizens of Cyprus and other EU regions with no other link to mainland Europe, said in an intervention to  the EU Transport and Telecoms Council, in Luxembourg, the Minister of Transport, Communications and Public Works, Vasiliki Anastasiadou.

As the issue of air pollutants was one of the key issues for the Transport Ministers Council yesterday, V. Anastassiadou warned her counterparts that “airline connectivity and prices affect Cyprus`s competitiveness as a tourist destination but also the quality of life for all residents of our country “.

According to the Minister, “the airplane is the only means of transport connecting the inhabitants of Cyprus with Europe and the rest of the world” and pointed out to its counterparts that “without cheap and affordable air connections, the inhabitants of Cyprus will be isolated and to a lesser extent in relation to residents of the other Member States ” and clarified that any effort to reduce emissions should be based on ” ensuring the international competitiveness of the EU aviation sector ” and taking into account  “the particularities of all Member States”.

Regarding the other Council issues, the Minister stressed in her intervention that Cyprus “supports the proposal for digitization of the exchange of information on freight transport, which is expected to significantly improve the efficiency of transport and will contribute substantially to the smooth functioning of the single market”.

The Minister welcomed “the progress made so far in the Proposal for a Regulation on rationalization measures for the implementation of the trans-European transport network” (TEN-T) and underlined the need “to prioritize a balanced approach, takes into account the specificities of the Member States “.

With regard to today`s debate on the Digital Single Market, the Minister welcomed “the importance now attributed to it at both national and European level” and noted that “through targeted actions, the EU can address the challenges posed , thus ensuring the EU`s global competitiveness “.

She also underlined that “the European economy and society are increasingly digitized and that in major technological areas further integration will enable Europe to compete effectively on a global scale, focusing on research and innovation and digital leadership and excellence “.

Lastly, with regard to the consultation to consider the proposal to abolish or not the seasonal change of time. according to the Minister, the Council has not yet formulated its position on this proposal, with the Member States being consulted before the matter is put to the Council`s attention. The Minister notes that the Council`s decision on its own position will be taken by a qualified majority, and consultation with the European Parliament will follow with a view to adopting a final decision.

(Cyprus News Agency)