Bulgaria Should Offer Cheapest Diesel in Europe – Ex Minister
Former Energy and Economy Minister Traycho Traykov has argues that Bulgaria should have the cheapest gasoline and the second cheapest diesel in the EU.
In a Tuesday interview for Nova TV, he specified that the tariffs were supposed to be such VAT excluded, excise duty included.
Traykov noted that on Wednesday morning Bulgaria was fourth in the gasoline ranking of the EU energy portal and occupied the "catastrophic" ninth place in the diesel ranking.
"Obviously, as I said one year ago, the solution lies in facilitating competition," he reasoned.
Traykov pointed out that Bulgaria was one of the three EU countries which had not allowed fuels supplied to filling stations to be stored at tax warehouses outside the country.
He reminded that the major share of tax warehouses in Bulgaria was owned by "the dominant player".
The former Energy Minister said that another way to go about the situation was to persuade Brussels that Bulgaria should have lower excise duties than the EU minimum.
Traykov suggested that the excise tax rates could be tied to the GDP per capita or to the average wage.
"I believe that the government has the capacity to do this. Or at least it appears so, judging by the statements of Finance Minister Simeon Djankov," he remarked.
"However, this should happen amid easy competition and a lack of anti-market practices because otherwise there is a risk of the price reduction being snatched by traders and producers, rather than benefiting consumers," Traykov explained.
He added that the lowest retail price of diesel in the EU was BGN 2.40 per liter, VAT included, and Bulgaria had to keep to this rate.
Traykov suggested that diesel rates were higher in Bulgaria because the equipment of the Lukoil Neftochim refinery in Burgas did not allow for the production of cheap diesel matching the latest EU requirements.
Bulgaria's former Energy Minister emphasized that he had welcomed in 2011 Lukoil's proposal for the launch of a large-scale investment project worth USD 1 B for upgrading the refinery's installations.
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