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Referendum possible on water management

16 February 2016

The CTP-UBP coalition government remains split about who should administer the water from Turkey.

An argument between the TRNC government and Ankara erupted because the government wants the municipalities to manage and collect payment for the water supply. Ankara has said that a private company should be in charge of managing the supply and collecting payment.

The Turkish Ministry of Agriculture and Water Affairs has pointed out that the distribution network in North Cyprus requires renewal. Local municipalities have charged relatively low prices for water, the ministry says and cannot afford the 600 million TL needed to renew pipework. Private companies should be involved in the process in a competitive climate, it added.

Leader of the CTP Mehmet Ali Talat says that no decision has been made yet and a referendum may be held after the CTP holds a meeting. However, the minor party in the coalition – the UBP wants to go ahead and sign the agreement with Turkey.

Several days ago, Prime Minister Omer Kalyoncu said that the agreement should be signed. He pointed out that since Turkey had funded the project, there was little choice in the matter.

Hurriyet

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