The average price of unleaded petrol at the pump in Italy has once again exceeded two euros per litre, with the price increasing by over seven cents in the space of a week.
According to the latest data from the Italian Ministry for Ecological Transition (MITE), the current national average price for petrol is 2.014 euros per litre (that’s a 3.8 percent increase against last week), whereas the price of diesel has also gone up to 1.935 euros per litre (a 4.5 percent increase over the same period).
This means petrol prices have soared past the symbolic two-euro threshold for the second time since March and are now at a record high.
“This is the fourth-biggest weekly increase of all time, for both petrol and diesel,” said UNC (National Consumers Union) through a joint statement. “Since the start of the war, despite the 30.5-cent discount implemented by the government, the price of petrol has increased by 16 cents per litre, […] whereas the price of diesel has risen by 21 cents per litre […]”
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The latest hike – which was caused by higher oil-refining costs worldwide according to Repubblica – has sparked outrage among business owners and consumer associations across the country.
But there’s a concrete chance the situation could worsen further is as petrol station owners warn fuel prices might exceed the 2.5 euro mark in the near future.
“It’s a national emergency,” said Massimiliano Donà, president of UNC. “The government needs to put a stop to speculation by capping fuel prices or, better yet, imposing fixed prices until the end of this dangerous escalation.”
He added: “[The government] cannot afford to wait until July 8th; it should immediately increase the excise duties discount by an additional 10 cents and lower IVA [value added tax] from 22 to 10 percent.”
Consumer rights group Codacons said the latest price increase means it now costs the average family an additional 491 euros a year to fill up a petrol-engine car, and 565 euros for those who own a diesel vehicle.
“That’s just for filling-up expenses, not accounting for indirect effects on the sale of other items,” the group noted.
Codacons said the government was “out of excuses” and urged ministers to “intervene” by fixing prices for both petrol and diesel.