While prices rise abroad…for the first time Malta has the lowest petrol price in the euro area.
Information released weekly by the European Commission – the weekly oil bulletin – indicates that for the first time the price of petrol in Malta is the cheapest in the euro area. Our country’s diesel price has been the cheapest in the euro area since shortly before the budget for 2022 was announced. This is now also the case of the price charged for petrol.
Compared to a week ago across the euro area the price of petrol is up by 13c while diesel is 16c more expensive. In contrast in our country prices have remained stable.
In fact, since Robert Abela became Prime Minister in January 2020, the price of petrol and diesel in Malta has fallen by 7c. Malta is the only country in the euro area where the price of fuel is cheaper today than it was before the pandemic started. In contrast in Germany petrol is now 67c higher than it was in 2020, while diesel is 72c dearer.
We now have petrol and diesel prices that in some countries have exceeded the €2 mark. The worst hit are motorists in the Netherlands with a price per litre for petrol of €2.24 and those in Germany with a price per litre for diesel of €2.03.
This week a person who bought a litre of petrol from a fuel station in Malta paid 90c less than a person who bought a litre of petrol from a station in the Netherlands. There is no need for one to go so far up the continent. From a fuel pump in Sicily, instead of spending €30 to buy less than 22 litres and a half of petrol you would end up spending almost €43 for the same amount of petrol. The purchasing power gap is even greater if you are driving a diesel-powered car because in that case instead of spending €30 you would end up spending €45 for the same amount of diesel. Over a year this would mean a higher cost of €780 for the same amount of diesel bought.
In March 2012 when the international price of oil in euro terms was similar to today’s price, the price of a litre of petrol in Malta was €1.45 while diesel was €1.36. In fact, under a Nationalist government the price of petrol had risen by 36%, or double what had happened in the rest of Europe.