Govt to regulate retail fuel prices from Tuesday

Ljubljana, 14 March - The government will adopt a regulation today to determine the maximum prices of fuel at service stations, Prime Minister Janez Janša told MPs, announcing reintroduction of regulated fuel prices from Tuesday.

Prime Minister Janez Janša.
Photo: Jure Makovec/STA

Janša made the announcement in response to a question from Janja Sluga, the head of the group of unaffiliated MPs, about the government's moves in the face of energy and food price hikes.

The same pricing mechanism as had been in place until April 2016, when the first round of price liberalisation took place, will be used to calculate the prices. The government will not allow for any speculation on the fuel prices market, Janša said.

The move comes after a group of opposition and unaffiliated deputies filed a bill on regulation of prices of petroleum products last week.

Janša said the government had introduced several measures in the face of rising energy price, noting that electricity bills, which users were getting these days, were significantly lower.

"The government has suspended the paying of network fees and some other levies to significantly lower the expenses for the people and it will stay this way for a while," Janša said, adding that aid had been allocated to the most vulnerable groups.

As for the rising fuel prices, he said that panic had been caused, which had resulted in daily sales going up sixfold. He stressed there was no need for panic and that fuel supplies were sufficient.

Russian oil represents 12% of global supplies, and this can be quickly replaced, he said.

The government had been warning fuel retailers to disperse their sources but they still mostly signed contracts with Russian oil companies "because some traditions die hard and connections work", Janša said.

The government fully liberalised the fuel market in 2020, so fuel retailers have been free in setting the prices for all types of fuel since 1 October 2020.

In the face of rising energy prices and the then-upcoming heating season, the government introduced a temporary regulation of margins for distributors of heating oil in November 2021. Initially it was introduced for three months, and then extended in January.

© STA, 2022