Italy’s government has introduced new regulations aimed at reducing soaring petrol prices, particularly targeting price speculation.

The price of petrol in Italy has increased to more than €2 per litre since the beginning of the month, in part due to no discount on excise duties introduced by the former government not being renewed by Meloni’s government.

In addition, the soaring prices are also due to petrol dealer speculation, say the governing rightist Brothers of Italy and Lega parties. Yet, in contrast, junior coalition partner Forza Italia is not in agreement.

As such, on Wednesday, the Council of Ministers implemented the requirement for distributors to show the average pump price of fuel alongside the price being charged, Euractiv reports. Italy’s national average price will be determined by the Ministry of Enterprise and published each day.

Penalties may be given for criminal offences of “fraudulent raising and lowering of prices on the public market or trading exchanges” and “speculative manoeuvres on goods”. 

However, Forza Italia believes the problem lies with the excise discount not being renewed as opposed to being the fault of the distributors. Yet PM Giorgia Meloni stated the issue could not be resolved by renewing the excise discount and implementing new regulations on fuel distributors’ transparency. 

Meloni said renewing the discount would have led to investing funds by removing them from other more pressing measures, the report adds.

The new measures are part of a decree that requires daily price monitoring as well as setting a limit on the cost of fuel on motorways.

However, Giuseppe Sperduto, president of the Faib Confesercenti association, said of the new measures: “Instead of solving the cost problem by cutting the tax component, which is among the highest in Europe, (the government) has launched a measure that risks turning into a bureaucratic nightmare for operators.”

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