Expensive petrol, the government: stop speculating. Prosecutor and Finance investigate

The fuel prices a theme destined to land on Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s desk. The rise in petrol and diesel prices due to the stop of cut of excise duties, in addition to alarming consumers, prompted the government to monitor what happens at service stations to avoid speculative phenomena. To control the tariffs of the sector are both the Guardia di Finanza, and the Guarantor for price surveillance (better known as Mister Prices), who could already provide the executive with an initial report on the checks carried out in the next few days. The sharp rise in prices was triggered by the reinstatement of fuel taxes, since the beginning of January motorists have seen the price of diesel and petrol rise sharply by 18.3 cents per litre, i.e. the equivalent of the discount on excise duties , granted by decree the day after the outbreak of war in Ukraine, and extended until last December 31st. A return to normality which has translated into pump prices that fluctuate, often exceeding the 2 euro per litre, thus reminding motorists that Italian taxation on fuel is among the highest in Europe.

Proxies are activated

The flurry of increases two days ago prompted Codacons to file complaints with 104 Italian prosecutors, while the Rome prosecutor’s office is already investigating the price increases, including fuel prices, as part of an open file to identify any speculation. In the name of consumers, Codacons today should also present a complaint to the Antitrust on the hypothesis of a cartel between the oil companies and, then, prepare the boycott of the most expensive points of sale. In addition to consumers, the Meloni government pays the price for expensive petrol, which in terms of consensus pays for the reintroduction of excise duties, previously cut by Mario Draghi’s executive. A picture that explains the words of the Minister of Infrastructure and Deputy Prime Minister, Matteo Salvini. We will talk to the Prime Minister on excise duties. Certainly there is speculation underway on petrol prices and it is good that the Finance carries out checks – observes Salvini -, there cannot be distributors who sell petrol at 1.7 euros and others at 2.4. Evidently there is someone who is smart. I will bring the reasoning to the government level. The Minister of the Economy already took action against the smart ones before Christmas, Giancarlo Giorgetti, who foreseeing the fibrillation on the fuel price front, due to the reintroduction of excise duties, has instructed the Guardia di Finanza to supervise the market to avert speculative dynamics. The head of the Economy informally also exercised a moral suasion towards the main operators in the sector (the leaders in distribution are Eni and Ip, which a few weeks ago announced an agreement to take over Esso’s activities), inviting them to make their party and to avoid unjustified price adjustments.

Government choices

So much so that so far in the ministry of Via XX Settembre there would be no evidence of widespread speculative phenomena. Moreover, the Minister of Enterprise and Made in Italy, Adolfo Urso, also took action, asking Mr. Prices for monitoring with the collaboration of the Guardia di Finanza to immediately highlight any anomaly. In short, the government is on alert even if at the moment the idea of ​​backtracking on the cut in excise duties has not been contemplated. In the course of 2022, the reduction in fuel taxes will cost, starting in March, around one billion euros per month. An expense that the Draghi government has financed also thanks to the extra revenue ensured precisely by fuel price increases, but the hedging mechanism is no longer valid given that last September, with the update note to the Def, it was decided to consider the Extra revenue is no longer a higher revenue for the public accounts, but an ordinary collection, therefore it cannot be used to finance the discounts. It should be added that the recommendation to eliminate generalized bonuses came from Brussels, replacing them with more selective and targeted measures. It remains that the price increases arouse the concern of entire categories such as Coldiretti and taxis. We ask Prime Minister Meloni to immediately convene an emergency table on fuel by summoning consumer associations, oil companies, managers and all the parties involved, explains the president of Assoutenti, Furio Truzzi.

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Expensive petrol, the government: stop speculating. Prosecutor and Finance investigate

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