Immediately after the government’s tank discount expired, fuel prices in Germany rose sharply again right at a time when inflation is already ravaging households.
The German Press Agency carried out an evaluation of the prices at almost 400 gas stations in Munich, Berlin, and Hamburg on Thursday between 6 a.m. and 6.30 a.m. using the ADAC fuel price data, which prices at many gas stations were significantly higher than in the same period on Wednesday, the Tagesschau news service reported.
Prices soar above €2
E10 grade premium petrol cost more than €2 per liter on Thursday morning at most gas stations surveyed. A day earlier, the price had not been above this threshold at any of the gas stations examined. Diesel, on the other hand, already cost more than €2 at most of the gas stations examined on Wednesday. On Thursday, the diesel price at most petrol stations was well above €2.10, even more than €2.30 at some stations.
Gas station operators had bought at the reduced tax rate until Wednesday and can therefore initially sell gas and diesel more cheaply. So, it could be a while before consumers see the full effect of the cancellation of the tax cut, also known as the tank discount.
Herbert Rabl, the spokesman for gas station interest group Tankstellen-Interessenverbandes, accused large corporations of selling fuel that had already been purchased, meaning at the previously lower price, at inflated prices. There will be a big price war at the pumps in the coming weeks, Rabl told SWR.
“The big brands have almost or completely ditched the tank discount, and the small brands are now following suit. We are experiencing a tug-of-war over who will prevail.” The gas station interest group is an association that represents the concerns of gas station leaseholders and owners in Germany.
France: new discount at the pump
Meanwhile, France is taking a different approach: While the tank discount has expired in Germany, the neighboring country increased the discount at the pump on Thursday night. Instead of the previous 18 cents, a discount of 30 cents per liter of petrol or diesel will be in place on the mainland in September and October. According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs, a smaller discount applies in Corsica and some overseas territories.
In the following months, the tank discount should fade away in France as well. In November and December, it is to be reduced to 10 cents on the mainland and phased out completely at the end of the year.
The fuel rebate is part of a package designed to increase the purchasing power of the French. Rising prices and an increase in purchasing power are two of the issues that French society currently see as the most important, according to a recent survey by the French polling institute Ifop.