The price of diesel in 18 EU mem­ber states is less than in Malta

Malta Independent - - LETTERS -

In spite of the lat­est re­duc­tions in the prices of petrol and diesel, the price of diesel in Malta is still higher than that of 18 EU Mem­ber States ac­cord­ing to the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion’s Weekly Oil Bul­letin of Mon­day, 3rd Oc­to­ber, which gives the con­sumer prices of petroleum prod­ucts in­clu­sive of du­ties and taxes.

The 18 EU coun­tries where the price of diesel is cheaper are: Aus­tria, Bel­gium, Bul­garia, Croa­tia, Czech Repub­lic, Es­to­nia, France, Ger­many, Greece, Hun­gary, Latvia, Lithua­nia, Lux­em­bourg, Poland, Ro­ma­nia, Slo­vakia, Slove­nia and Spain.

There are five EU Mem­ber States – Bul­garia, Latvia, Lithua­nia, Lux­em­bourg and Poland – where the price of diesel is less than €1!

In Lux­em­bourg, the price of diesel is 93.5 cents, which is 20.5 cents less than in Malta, or 18 per cent less.

There are 16 EU mem­ber states where the price of petrol is cheaper than Malta’s. Th­ese are the same 18 EU coun­tries where the price of diesel is less than in Malta with the ex­cep­tion of France, Ger­many and Greece, but in­clud­ing Cyprus.

In Bul­garia the price of petrol is 97.4 cents per litre, or 29.6 cents less, that is 23.3 per cent less.

In which EU mem­ber state does a Prime Min­is­ter talk about the prices of petrol and diesel? What con­trol does the Gov­ern­ment of Malta have on the in­ter­na­tional price of oil?

How can the gov­ern­ment claim that the petrol and diesel mar­ket in Malta is lib­er­al­ized, when it boasts that it is re­duc­ing the prices of petrol and diesel?

In which EU mem­ber states does the gov­ern­ment own the fa­cil­i­ties for the stor­age of petrol and diesel?

In which EU mem­ber state the con­sumers have no idea what brand of petrol or diesel they are pur­chas­ing?

In which EU Mem­ber State the fill­ing sta­tions give no in­di­ca­tion of the brand of petrol or diesel that they are sell­ing?

The dom­i­nant po­si­tion of the state-owned com­pany – Enemed Com­pany Lim­ited – needs to be elim­i­nated as soon as pos­si­ble.

It is use­less for the gov­ern­ment to boast about its pro-busi­ness poli­cies. In the petrol and diesel mar­ket the gov­ern­ment is em­brac­ing the tra­di­tional so­cial­ist own­er­ship pol­icy, which runs con­trary to the EU free mar­ket reg­u­la­tions.

It is sur­pris­ing that the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion lifted its in­fringe­ment pro­ce­dures against Malta in the case of com­pe­ti­tion in the petroleum sec­tor, sim­ply be­cause the gov­ern­ment en­acted a le­gal no­tice, with­out wait­ing to see how it was go­ing to be im­ple­mented.

What is the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion wait­ing for to send its rep­re­sen­ta­tive(s) to take a look at the mar­ket for petrol and diesel? How can Malta as­sume the Pres­i­dency of the EU while com­pletely ig­nor­ing the EU’s com­pe­ti­tion rules in the petroleum sec­tor?

The list of com­pa­nies that are sup­posed to be ser­vic­ing the petroleum sec­tor is mean­ing­less. The ma­jor­ity of th­ese are sim­ply trad­ing in bunker­ing ser­vices.

There are no other com­pa­nies im­port­ing, stor­ing and sell­ing petrol in Malta other than Enemed.

Every­body knows what hap­pened in the case of the at­tempted re­duc­tion in the price of diesel in Ra­bat in Jan­uary of last year, and the Malta Com­pe­ti­tion and Con­sumer Af­fairs Au­thor­ity (MCCAA) has ren­dered it­self use­less.

The Malta Au­to­mo­bile Club main­tains that the im­por­ta­tion, stor­age and sale of petrol and diesel should not be gov­ern­ment busi­ness, and the pri­vate sec­tor should be al­lowed to take over and com­pete on a level play­ing field.

Al­fred A. Far­ru­gia Malta Au­to­mo­bile Club

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