End of "Luna di Miele": Meloni breaks promises of petrol
Created: 01/14/2023 15:13
By: Bettina Menzel
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni in Rome on January 10th.
© IMAGO/Massimo Di Vita / ZUMA Wire
Giorgia Melonis Fratelli d'Italia were the single most successful party in Italy's general elections.
But now the honeymoon with the Italians could be over.
Rome – It is the first real test for Italy's Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni since she took office.
During her time as leader of the opposition, the post-fascist politician had been calling for the abolition of fuel tariffs and petrol surcharges for years.
Now she is in power herself - and since January 1, the "accise" previously suspended under Mario Draghi have been in force again.
That could noticeably weaken Meloni's credibility with the electorate.
These are Meloni's arguments for reintroducing fuel surcharges
Rome subsidized every liter of fuel until the end of 2022, which is why fuel prices remained relatively constant for a long time.
Initially, the state surcharges were 30 cents per liter, in December they fell to 18 cents.
But now Meloni doesn't want to extend the measure introduced by her predecessor Mario Draghi, there simply isn't the money for it.
"That costs a billion a month," said Economics Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti, so a permanent reduction in consumer taxes is "not feasible".
According to the post-fascist politician Meloni, it is also about preventing speculation that is behind the high costs at the pump.
However, in the week of January 1-8, the nationwide average price of petrol at the pump was €1.81, according to government data, an increase of almost 17 cents compared to the previous week - which is almost exactly the 18 cents that the Gasoline was previously cheap.
The gas station operators dismissed the allegations of speculation as damaging to their reputation, and for a short time there was even a strike.
This was initially "frozen" after a meeting between representatives of the government and the Italian petrol station organizations Faib, Fegica, Figisc/Anisa.
"I welcome the clarification received from the government, which restores an unequivocal truth: the managers are not responsible for the price increase, nor for any speculation allegedly mentioned," read a joint statement from the service station operators.
Another meeting between operators and the government is
scheduled for January 17, according to the Italian daily
Il Messaggero .
Meloni wants to suppress "speculative behavior" by gas station operators
Italy's government had previously announced that gas station operators would now have to report their sales price for fuel every day due to the significant increase in fuel prices, according to a government statement on Wednesday.
Based on this information, the Ministry of Enterprise calculates an average price, which the operators must show together with their actual price, it said.
Anyone who repeatedly violates the obligation to display prices correctly must expect a business interruption of 7 to 90 days.
The right-wing head of government Giorgia Meloni and her responsible ministers also want the authorities to work more closely together.
The Guardia di Finanza, which is responsible for white-collar crime, should cooperate with the competition watchdogs and price regulators – also known as “Mister Prezzi” (Mister Prices) in Italy – in order to “suppress speculative behavior”.
Meloni's credibility is crumbling because of the broken fuel promise
In the parliamentary elections in Italy, Giorgia Meloni's Fratelli d'Italia party achieved 26 percent of the vote, making it the single most successful party.
But after around 100 days in office, the Italian daily
Corriere della sera
sees the "honeymoon" (luna di miele) with the electorate as over, as Meloni's credibility is crumbling.
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Fancy a voyage of discovery?
Not only did Meloni break her gas promise, but she recently got caught lying.
In the last election campaign, she did not promise to continue suspending fuel surcharges and taxes, she said in a video shared on social media on Wednesday.
It didn't take long before the opposite could be proven without much effort, after all the "freezing" of "accise" was in their election program (