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article imageFuel consumption drops dramatically in Greece as taxes rise

By Katerina Nikolas     Nov 19, 2012 in World
Fuel consumption has declined sharply in Greece as the economic crisis deepens. The increase in international oil prices; the EU embargo on Iranian oil; reduced consumer income; and massive hikes in taxes, have all contributed to declining fuel sales.
Hellastat AU Wholesale Fuels has released research findings that show Greek fuel consumption has been in steady decline since 2009. According to figures cited by Ta Nea "the excise tax on unleaded petrol and diesel has increased by 87% and 36% respectively since the beginning of 2009.
With the advent of the equalization of prices between diesel and central heating oil which was introduced in October, the decline is expected to reach between 30 - 40 percent. Households unable to afford heating oil are increasingly looking to other means of heating for the winter, returning to open fires as an option. Some schools face closure as they are unable to afford fuel to heat the classrooms.
Ekathimerini reported that 30,000 homes and businesses are disconnected by the country's Public Power Corporation each month, due to an inability to pay their bills. The situation is further exacerbated since last year's advent of the property tax which is collected via electricity bills. From Jan 1, 2013, the price of electricity is set to rise by 40 percent, further ensuring those already struggling with rising bills will lose their power supply.
Greece was the only EU member nation which opposed the European embargo on Iranian fuel introduced, in July. Digital Journal reported Greece's calls for exceptions to the embargo to be considered were rejected by other countries. Since the ban was imposed the cost of oil has risen significantly in Greece.
Many households will now face the prospect of a dismal cold winter without electricity or other forms of heating, while struggling with reduced incomes and tax rises.
More about Fuel consumption, Greek crisis, Hellastat, Electric cuts
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