Bulgarian Transport Minister: No Means to Tame Fuel Prices
The State has very few mechanisms in influencing fuel prices, according to Bulgarian Transport Minister, Ivaylo Moskovski.
The Minister spoke Saturday from the Black Sea city of Varna, explaining these prices are subject to "pure market supply and demand."
He stressed prices are formed on the basis of the price of crude oil, the price for processing it, the excise duty, the profit for merchants and manufacturers and the small percentage of bio fuel.
His statements came on heels of news that fuel prices in the country have hiked to new record levels.
"The State can only interfere through changes in the excise and the Value Added Tax, VAT, but this is a very complicated procedure. It goes through Brussels and the so-called derogation process. Particularly for excise we must have green light from the EU," Moskovski noted.
However, he assured that if prices become uncontrollable, the EU will react.
In a Friday interview for 24 Chassa (24 Hours) daily, the Minister warned the fuel price hike will lead to the increase of all prices and voiced alarm that the process can get out of control in case of an escalation of the situation in Iran.
Thursday evening, the A95 gasoline reached the unprecedented price of BGN 2.74 per liter at Shell stations, and in the course of the day Friday other stations across the country joined in.
According to a research of the Bulgarian Trud (labor) daily, some can even raise the price to BGN 2.76 per liter.
The reason for the latest increase is the increase of wholesale prices from the only refinery in the country, Russian Lukoil Neftohim Burgas. It has upped on Wednesday the A95 price by BGN 0.03.
The price of diesel was increased on Thursday by BGN 0.03 – 0.04 at gas stations.
Analysts explain the record-high prices with the increase of oil prices on global markets, increased consumption of fuels in countries such as Japan, and the falling exchange rate of the EUR against the USD.
Moskovski is in Varna for the "Week of the Sea" initiative held under the patronage of his Ministry.
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