Turkish Cypriots reacted angrily to Nicosia’s move to introduce fuel checks at the crossing points dividing the Mediterranean island.
“The Greek side is openly threatening consumers with new criminal measures that have been introduced to prevent shopping from the North. This is an unacceptable situation,” a spokesperson for Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akıncı was quoted as saying.
The Cypriot customs department caused a stir on Wednesday implying it would be targeting Greek Cypriots who have been increasingly filling their tanks in the north, taking advantage of the much lower price of fuel.
It even warned that vehicles could even be confiscated.
The government later announced that the checks at crossing points only concern prevention of illegal trade.
“The state’s policy is for citizens to be able to move across the Republic’s entire territory, in line with what is provided for by the special Green Line Regulation,” government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said in a written statement.
Any customs department inspections will only target illicit trade, he added.
“The government does not intend nor will it obstruct the movement of ordinary citizens,” he said.