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Economy

Greece’s Fuel Prices – Before, After Taxes – Higher Than EU’s Average

ATHENS – As state subsidies for high-priced electric cars haven’t spurred an increase in their sales, drivers in Greece are paying significantly more for gasoline and diesel than the average across the European Union, both before and after hefty taxes.

Greece is also grappling with issues like gas stations diluting products and fuel smuggling as businesses attempt to dodge an average tax of €0.70 per liter, which ranks as the fourth highest in the European Union as of 2022, trailing only behind the Netherlands, Italy, and Finland.

For years, successive governments have also failed to rigorously pursue violators and combat the lack of competition, leading to substantial tax revenue losses and consistently high consumer prices at the pump.

The country’s Competition Commission has not been effective in addressing regulatory issues after investigations, with drivers paying €1.949 ($2.09) per liter, or $7.37 per gallon—double the $3.70 in the United States.

The retail price of diesel in Greece was €1.657 ($1.79) per liter—or $6.77 per gallon—making it the ninth most expensive in the EU. This fuel is also notably high in emissions that contribute to worsening climate change.

Although Greece’s Competition Commission has been investigating the high costs for 20 years, it has done little to address the issue. In 2012, it recommended that the state adopt some measures, but few were adopted and some were only partially implemented.

In 2022, the Chinese news agency Xinhua reported on the fuel pricing problem in Greece, noting that gas station owners were calling for lower fuel taxes as costs soared in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which triggered market pricing shifts.

“The situation in our country in terms of fuel prices is very difficult. Things are tough for the sector, gas station owners, and consumers. Fuel has become a sort of luxury product, and we forget that it is a social good. People need it to go to work,” said Maria Zagka, President of Attica’s Gas Station Owners’ Association.

Taxation on fuel began to increase in 2010, when Greece faced a severe debt crisis and implemented stringent measures to avoid default. Although the country exited the bailout period in 2019, the heavy taxation on fuel continued, the report stated.

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