Why have many petrol stations in Spain increased prices by 10 cents?

by Lorraine Williamson
petrol stations

MADRID – The government in Spain is keeping an eye on gas stations after increasing their fuel prices by 10 cents per litre since Monday. Calculated for all 11,500 petrol stations in Spain, this is an average increase of 1 cent. 

The stations have increased their prices since the government announced that everyone who fills up will receive a bonus of 20 cents per litre. Gas stations would pay 5 cents of that. However, they must also advance the rest of the bonus until they get the money back from the government. 

Government controls the prices 

According to the newspaper El Diario, the government will check prices at petrol stations. The bonus of 20 cents for users should not lose its effectiveness. Yesterday, several newspapers in Spain reported that some gas stations had already increased their price by 10 cents per litre. 

In case of anomaly, the supervisor intervenes immediately 

The Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, Raquel Sánchez, already indicated in a press statement on Tuesday the National Commission for Markets and Competition (CNMC) will monitor for suspicious price increases. If an anomaly is detected, CNMC intervenes immediately. 

Check all prices in real-time 

According to the regulator, this is already a market with great transparency. Indeed, every citizen can see in real-time the prices charged at each of the more than 11,500 gas stations throughout Spain. These prices can be found on the website of the Ministry of Ecological Transition. 

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Average increase of 1% 

Even though especially cheap gas stations, which already had a small margin, have applied price increases, the average increase since Monday is limited to 1%. That is according to the calculation of the Spanish Confederation of Employers of Gas Stations (CEEES) based on data from the ministry. CEEES estimated the average price of petrol 95 at €1.81 and that of diesel A at €1.85 this Wednesday morning. Last Friday, before the bonus was announced, petrol was at €1.81 and diesel at €1.83. So, there has been practically no variation. 

493 petrol stations raised prices by 5 cents or more 

Diariomotor wrote on Tuesday that 493 petrol stations had already raised their prices by 5 cents or more for fear of loss of turnover. FACUA already warned about this effect on Monday. The consumer organisation considered the measure insufficient and warned that “the amount is very small”. 

Industry Responsibility 

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, said: “If we want to stop the increase in fuel prices, the sector itself must also take responsibility. This is to give confidence and certainty to the population that the measures are effective”. 

However, the business organisations of gas stations warned that it will not be feasible to advance the discount to customers, which calculated on average €1,000 per petrol station per day. This can harm the continuity of many gas stations. Especially those of SMEs, who make up 70% of the total 

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