Larnaca’s bus company Zenon on Monday warned that it would park its buses unless it is paid €250,000 it says it is owed by the state.
Company chairman Pantelis Pantelides said that the state has been fighting a war of attrition against the company from the day it started operations, and rather than supporting it had persecuted it.
This was denied by the permanent secretary of the Transport Ministry Stavros Michail who told the Cyprus News Agency that the state does help the company so that the bus service can continue.
“They have problems with the buses but because there are a lot of company shareholders, the problem is more difficult,” he said.
Pantelides said that the company has been wrongly accused of mismanagement. And he said under the new tenders awarded earlier this month, as from July 5, next year the state will be paying the new operator €4m more annually to do what Zenon is doing now.
He said the company has run up a deficit of €250,000 up till November and unless the money is paid, they would park the buses and someone else can carry out the service.
Pantelides also said he has asked for a meeting with the ministry to discuss the issue with Michail confirming that a meeting is expected to be arranged this week.
As regards the new tenders, Michail said that it was known for years that there would be new tenders at the end of 10 years, and this is in line with the law and the competition itself was a European one.