It is no longer surprising, but week after week fuel prices break records in our country. Despite the government subsidy of 20 cents/litre, consumers are paying more than ever for petrol and diesel. From the Government they point to the oil companies.
March. Time seems to pass so fast that it seems that more time has passed since a possible government subsidy began to hover over fuel prices. With a transport strike underway, pressure from the opposition and the example of neighboring countries, the Government finally decided to act.
In the same week, it went from subsidizing fuel for transport professionals to aid extended to all citizens. Since April 1, the Government subsidizes the price of gasoline with 15 cents and another five cents/liter are contributed by the oil companies.
May. A month later, the consumer is in the same. The weekly report of the European Union that collects the average price of fuels pointed out yesterday, Thursday, May 5, that consumers pay 1,847 euros/liter of gasoline and 1,872 euros/liter of diesel on average. Three cents more than last week in the case of gasoline and 2.5 cents more for diesel, in a report that already collected data very similar to that prior to the transport subsidy.
oil companies. Since the government announced the subsidy, all eyes have been on gas stations. Warning that the procedure was not correct (the Government advanced part of the subsidized money but not the total amount), the smaller companies warned that they could be forced to close, since their profit margins are much smaller .
The big ones, however, entered into a very aggressive first price war, with discounts of several cents of euros that were added to government aid. Of course, in most cases, to qualify for these discounts you had to have a loyalty card.
guarded. During the announcement of the subsidy, the Government already warned the oil companies that the National Commission for Markets and Competition (CNMC) would closely monitor possible price increases. Cani Fernández, president of the National Commission for Markets and Competition (CNMC), also warned the oil companies.
Of the aid, Fernández assured that “in no case can they be absorbed by the supply chain.” He assured that the CNMC knew “the prices of all gas stations, every day” and concluded by adding that they would establish “a much more intense surveillance system.”
“We will not continue with that help”. Despite the fact that the CNMC should be closely monitoring the advance in gasoline and diesel prices, for now the Government only threatens to withdraw the fuel subsidy if it is shown that the oil companies are absorbing the impact of it.
In an interview on RNE, Nadia Calviño assured that “we have to analyze the measures that are being effective. If any measure is causing prices to be maintained because the operators are absorbing that aid and maintaining prices, we will not continue with it”, Calvino has confirmed.
Short term. It must be remembered that the fuel subsidy had the first expiration date of June 30. In Xataka we have already analyzed the risk of this aid, since everything indicates that we will move in the same prices in the short term, with an increasingly pressured market (today 112 euros are already reached for each barrel of Brent) and where already A possible veto on Russian oil was contemplated, which is closer than ever.
disparate data. It must be remembered that with each increase in the price of fuel, the weight of taxes on it decreases, since, although VAT remains in the same proportion, the Special Tax on Hydrocarbons has a fixed rate of 0.504 euros/liter for gasoline 98, 0.473 euros/liter for gasoline 95 and 0.379 euros/liter for diesel. The weight of taxes in February was 47% for gasoline and 43% for diesel. Today it is 43% and 38%, respectively.
In this war, the CNMC assures that the profit margins of the oil companies between 2013 and 2020 went from 11% to 21%, according to data collected by El País. On the contrary, the employers of service stations defend themselves and ensure that their profit margin remains at 2%. One way or another, we are paying more than ever for fuel.
Photo | Felix K’stle/AP
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism