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Gasoline, the government’s transparency rule does not solve the problem of price hikes and turns gas station attendants against consumer associations.

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The regulation changes the rules for surveys, advertising and monitoring of fuel prices, but is limited to “adjusting” already existing forecasts, without significant changes that could actually lead to lower prices.

Decree Transparency just approved by the government to calm the controversy over price increases after the return to full excise tax, it looks like a bluff. The regulation that changes polling, advertising, and fuel price controls only seems to correct what already exists here and there, without significant changes that could actually drive prices down. And now igniting a war between gas stationswho talk about “media fraud” and claim one strike as the first beneficiaries of the new measures, and associations from consumers with a request to stop the protest.

For many years, work has been carried out to ensure the transparency of fuel prices andCustoms agencyMinistry of Enterprise andRevenue Agency they already have all the price list movement data. Since 2013, fuel managers (gas stations) have been required to communicate to the Ministry of prices for all types of fuel (gasoline, diesel, LPG and methaneincluding L-CNG coming from regasification and LNG supplied in liquid form) and for all forms of sale (with priority for self-service modeif it is active during the entire operation time). Data that is then published on the website Pricewatch ministry, which anyone can access to find out prices at all points of sale and make real-time comparisons by area. The portal also shows the time of the last update and the ability to sort by price.

Already every week the ministry publishes the average values ​​of the prices charged (the fact that this study becomes a daily one is of greater importance in the decree). In addition, there are specialized newspapers such as Energy newspaper And daily relay who publish price data every day, which are then periodically published in all newspapers. Already now, managers must display selling prices, and after the decree, they will also be required to display the average price for the country next to them. Thus, small adjustments, which in reality can then turn into a boomerang, run the risk of confusing the motorist with too much information. “Oilmen will add a couple of signs, and motorists will have to unravel in a jungle of numbers that very few have the time and time to decipher. And how, pray tell, could all this have the miraculous power of lowering prices? – comments the union of managers. fegica. Not a word about the eternal questionmodernization and rationalization of the network also in terms of the energy transition, which could also contribute to falling prices.

Announcing a two-day strike on 25 and 26 January, gas station unions Faib, Fegica and Figisc/Anisa are talking about “cheating in the media”, because in reality the new measures “do not contain anything that could affect prices”, but, on the other hand, “ excise remain among the highest in the world. Gas station attendants also talk about a “mud wave” specifically designed for the gas station attendant category, thus diverting attention to something else and causing a war of gas station consumers to confuse them. The government, say the three unions, is “raising fuel prices and unloading duty on managers who become recipients of insults and insults from motorists irritated”. Instead of this “shameful media campaign”, according to managers, it is better to use existing tools, such as mobile excise.

The fact is that after the launch of the decree on transparency, consumer associations opposed fuel managers. L’National Consumer Union against the strike, even if he understands the reasons of the gas station attendants: faced with this “deceit artfully inflated by the government to try to absolve themselves of responsibility (…) the managers they have every reason to complain and protest, but don’t go on strike,” the president says Maximilian Dona, which rather suggests a protest sit-in. In fact, according to the UNC, “the decree on transparency, although a warm pannicello, is in any case inviolable” because the category “in 2022 is committed 2809 violations of price discipline in 5187 inspections. The perpetrator percentage, 54.2%, gives goosebumps.” Even though it’s good 2.092 relate to failure to report prices to the ministry. Instead, Codacons speaks of “an act of war against consumers, an absurd and unmotivated protest that causes us today to send an urgent request to the Guarantor to hold strikes to block the mobilization of managers.”

Source: II Fatto Quotidiano

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