Rush to the pumps as Portugal’s fuel prices plummet … for one week only

Rush to the pumps as Portugal’s fuel prices plummet … for one week only

For the first time since 2009, diesel is on sale in Portugal for less than a euro. Prices for LPG and petrol have also dropped at the pumps as a result of the global price of crude taking a tumble. But the bad news is that it is all going to change next Thursday.
From January 1 the government’s new “green tax” regime will be kicking in and taking with it the welcome fuel price reprieve.
Critics say the plan is “seriously harmful to everyone”.
“The government is just lucky that the price of oil has been dropping”, commented president of the national fuel sellers’ association João Durão. “If it hadn’t, this situation would not be viewed as peacefully.
“This is not a green tax at all”, he added, warning that it will come as a “tremendous shock”, to almost everyone.
Durão’s association and five others are reported to be petitioning the government over its controversial plans, demanding a meeting urgently “to clarify a number of points”.
Meantime, drivers are expected to make as much of the country’s boom pump prices as possible.
In Santo Tirso (Porto) – the only Jumbo fuel station where diesel is on sale for €0.999 – hundreds of drivers have already filled up their vehicles, while elsewhere fuel stations have all requested extra deliveries, just to keep up with demand.
According to newspapers, once the green taxes come into force, they will add another 6.5 cents to a litre of petrol, and 5.1 cents to a litre of diesel.
The carbon tax alone (charged through road fund licences) is expected to raise the PSD-CDS-PP coalition an extra 95 million euros, reports Correio da Manhã which writes that more fuel stations near the border with Spain – where fuel has always been cheaper – are now at risk of closure.
In the last 10 years, almost half the number of fuel stations along the border have shut down, João Durão confirmed, taking with them “hundreds of jobs”.
The green tax regime threatens “at least another 150 jobs”, he told CM.
“It is with great apprehension that colleagues in Valença and Esposende for example see yet another tax in this sector.
The green tax regime extends beyond taxes on fuel. It also covers the sale of plastic bags in supermarkets, which are set to increase to €0.8 cents as of January 1.