Fuel price ceiling decision deferred for at least a week

The Ministry of Economy and Development, unsure as to whether it should adopt a RAE (Regulatory Authority for Energy) proposal calling for the imposition of price ceilings on unleaded fuel to combat high prices in various parts of Greece, especially islands, has deferred any decision until no sooner than next week. The government has shown restraint on the necessity of such a measure.

Market data presented by fuel market officials at an economy and development ministry meeting yesterday acknowledged fuel price increases but rejected any need for the  implementation of price ceilings due to profiteering claims and suspicions.

SEEPE, the Hellenic Petroleum Marketing Companies Association, presented data indicating that profit margins for fuel suppliers and retailers have narrowed by levels of between 7 to 15 percent compared to a year earlier.

The association presented data concerning various parts of Greece under the spotlight, such as the Cyclades. A 33 percent increase in international oil prices was limited to 11 percent in this region should a special consumption tax (EFK) and VAT be factored in, SEEPE contended.

POPEK, the Panhellenic Federation of Fuel Station Owners and Oil Traders, also represented at yesterday’s meeting, contended that fuel price increases exceeded the national average at approximately just half of the 17 prefectures for which price ceilings were proposed by RAE.

The ministry’s leadership assured meeting participants no final decisions on price ceilings have yet been reached, while reminding that the RAE study is not binding.