Soaring fuel prices cause headaches for Italian government

Soaring fuel prices cause headaches for Italian government |

Italian motorists are facing soaring fuel prices at the pump, but the government, which sets the currently very high excise duty and VAT, keeps pointing fingers at speculating resellers.

The price of petrol, diesel and LPG – now €2.50 per litre on the motorway – is the sum of the net cost of fuel, the fixed excise duty, and 22% VAT. From January, excise duty will reach almost 55% of the final price including the VAT on petrol and diesel.

Fuel prices have gone up since January as the centre-right government led by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni did not renew the excise discount introduced by the previous government of Mario Draghi in March of last year.

At the time, Draghi introduced a discount on fuel excise duties to lower the prices of petrol, diesel, LPG and car methane. With the discount removed, which costs the state millions of euros, prices automatically rose.

Speculation from retailers also seems to have resulted in rising prices.

Deputy Prime Minister and Transport Minister Matteo Salvini spoke openly about speculation on petrol prices, saying,  “we will talk to the prime minister” about excise duties. “There is someone who thinks is being clever”, he added about retailers.

Meanwhile, Enterprise and Made in Italy Minister Adolfo Urso called for constant price monitoring and announced that he would meet with consumer associations next week.

Environment Energy Security Minister Gilberto Pichetto Fratin spoke of ‘speculation’ for prices above € 2 per litre and announced government intervention to curb prices.

Sources at the Economy Ministry confirmed to Ansa that as early as last December, Economy Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti instructed financial authorities to monitor the situation to prevent speculation on fuel prices on roads and motorways. Next week, the results of the checks should be announced to ascertain the reasons for the price increase and who is responsible.

Figisc, one of the unions representing petrol stations in Italy, called the accusations of inflating fuel prices ‘fake news’, claiming that the price increase corresponded exactly to the increase in excise duty and VAT.

According to Furio Truzzi, the president of the consumer rights association Assoutenti, fuel prices in Italy are among the highest in Europe due to “abnormal taxation” that disadvantages Italian motorists.

“We wonder whether PM Meloni is aware of these numbers and whether she intends to intervene to avoid a new economic emergency that will inevitably have heavy direct and indirect effects on families and businesses”, Truzzi added.

(Federica Pascale |


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