SPAIN Deregulation and a lack of competition are the main causes of high fuel prices in Spain, according to a recent study by the European Commission. Only Denmark and Malta have higher pre-tax prices for petrol, and Spain is eighth among the EU's 28 for diesel fuel prices. Prices at the pump, though, which include taxes (boy, do they include taxes!), has Spain at about the middle of the price range, which means that the oil companies are making more profit than might be reasonable (we are preparing an item on petrol price-fixing in Spain). Consumer organizations have for years been asking for a governmentally-established maximum such as was in force until the late 1990s, when the market was opened up under the excuse that this would bring in more competition. A spurious argument, it turned out, and a problem that no government has wanted to deal with - a situation of which the oil companies have been very quick to take advantage.>>>The EC report, dated July 15, reveals that the average basic price, before taxes are applied, in Denmark is €0.78 a litre, in Malta it is €0.76, and €0.73 in Spain.
At the other end of the spectrum are the UK (€0.63), Slovenia (€0.65) and Croatia (€0.66).
The pre-tax price for diesel oil averages €0.80 in Denmark, followed by Bulgaria and Greece (€0.78). Spain takes eighth position on this list, with an average of €0.76/l.
At the bottom of the diesel oil range are the UK and Slovenia again (€0. 68/l) followed by France with €0.69.