Roughly fifteen percent of petrol stations are undersupplying customers at the pump compared to four percent four years ago, according to research conducted by the National Technical University (NTUA).
The study, whose results were published today, showed that the cheating practices are primarily being performed by petrol stations offering lower prices.
The results are based on a sample of 150 petrol stations operating in the wider Athens area, which were checked between August 22 and October 3.
The study’s director, Fanis Zanikos, noted that 85.5 percent of samples passed the test while the remainder failed.
Discrepancies are being detected through an “inflow-outflow” monitoring system installed at most petrol stations but still not yet fully operational despite certain steps taken in more recent times, it was pointed out during a presentation of the survey’s results.
Yiannis Aligizakis, president of SEEPE, the Hellenic Petroleum Marketing Companies Association, noted that the “inflow-outflow” monitoring system has been installed at 99 percent of petrol stations for a total cost of 90 million euros, while adding that processing and utilization of data is not being carried out. System software had yet to be certified, the SEEPE chief also noted.
Commenting on illicit fuel trade, Aligizakis said resulting annual tax losses for the state amounted to between 250 and 300 million euros per year.
SEEPE officials called for the government to reexamine upcoming fuel tax hikes, noting that tax revenue targets will not be achieved as a result of the negative impact by the taxes on consumption levels. The association also requested more inspections at petrol stations.