Correspondent in Lisbon
The price of gasoline reaches its highest in Portugal and already stands at 1,652 euros per liter, that is to say, the highest cost in Europe… with the particularity that salaries are among the lowest in the entire continent. And is the high amount of indirect taxes which pulls up, because this index already represents 64% of the bill, with the socialist government of Antonio Costa collecting 1,000 million euros for this concept in the last 12 months.
Until now, the only escape had been the Portuguese who live near the border because they carry years crossing to buy fuel, today at 1.35. It’s not cheap either, but it makes up for a trip to return with full ‘saddlebags’.
But we underline the ‘until now’ because the Portuguese media begin to report an upcoming rise in these prices in Spain, which can put an end to this ‘fuel tourism’. The alarms have gone off at the ‘Raya’ gas stations because, if this circumstance is confirmed, the economic damage would be evident throughout the 1,214 kilometers of limitcommon: from Huelva to Pontevedra, passing through Badajoz, Cáceres, Salamanca, Zamora and Orense.
Indirect tax hike
Yes, because the Portuguese would stop crossing for such a purpose, which would also translate into other sectors because many of the citizens of the other side take the opportunity to acquire other types of goods when they pass the border posts.
The biofuel taxes They already represent 11% of the global bill and this fact contributes to the fact that, in a paradoxical way, sustainable energy is sustained on the basis of an unsustainable situation in hundreds of thousands of families who can barely make ends meet due to the excessive increase of light and fuels, as it happens in both Portugal and Spain.
The inhabitants of the neighboring country attend this fort in astonishment indirect tax increase that has been installed since the socialist government takes office, which translates into a very expensive day to day when filling the car’s tank.
In addition to the string of indirect taxes that serves to fatten the State coffers, the following item in the final price belongs to the costs associated with raw materials: both to the extraction and to the process followed in oil refineries. This strip represents the 29%, that is, about three euros, but it increases to 14 in the event that the deposit is filled with 50 euros, perhaps the most demanded measurement.
The warehousing, distribution and marketing they settle with eight cents for every 10 euros and with four euros if it goes up to those 50, while the aforementioned biofuel tax it has increased, in less than a year, from 10% to 12%.
Solo The Netherlands and Norway have higher costs than Portugal, something unheard of given the difference in prosperity between one and the other. Another significant fact to add more fuel to the fire: the price of gasoline has risen so much in just a few months that the proportion places it at 20 times more than wages over the last year. A circumstance that irritates Iberian neighbors in the midst of a pandemic, with a economic crisis that can only be described as galloping and not very encouraging prospects.
But the figures do not admit doubts. On the one hand, the increase in fuel has reached 24.8%, counting from mid-2020. On the other hand, salary cuts in companies are counted by an average of 7%, although in many cases it is much higher. To top it all, these are companies that sometimes apply the reduction drastically even if your benefits have only been diminished, but not completely cut off.
The fact is that the mismatch between what gasoline costs and what a worker receives has been 30% open and places a large group of families in a very compromised situation.
The result is a unprecedented economic pressure And, if that saving of almost 28 cents per liter disappears when they cross into Spain, then the Iberian Peninsula could become a kind of energy jail where people have enough to pay those indirect costs that are applied to them.
We take as examples the Huelva town of Ayamonte, where hundreds of Portuguese disembark daily from Castro Marim (birthplace of the mother of Paco de Lucía himself), or Badajoz, which receives dozens of mOrators from Campo Maior or Elvas, only 19 kilometers further. And the same happens of Vilar Formoso to Ciudad Rodrigo, 31 kilometers apart, or Keys to Verín (30), to name certain examples of this trend.
The president of the Portuguese Business Association, Luis Miguel Ribeiro, sends a serious warning to the Socialist Prime Minister, Antonio Costa: «In the short and medium term, these prices will cost us a setback in exports ».