PM: Government Following Fuel Price Developments: Room to Intervene

By 12 October 2021

ZAGREB, 12 October, 2021 - The government is following developments with fuel price rises, the relevant ministers have been tasked with following the situation in detail, and there are also tools for an intervention if necessary, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Tuesday.

Oil prices vary on the global and Mediterranean markets, they are rising, and petrol and diesel prices are rising too, he said after a ruling coalition meeting, adding that besides oil, those prices include excises, margins and VAT.

Speaking to the press, Plenković said Finance Minister Zdravko Marić and Economy Minister Tomislav Ćorić were tasked with "following the developments in detail" and that the Economic and Social Council would meet tomorrow to discuss the matter.

"We'll talk with the social partners and see how the situation develops and if a certain intervention will be necessary. There are tools for that," the prime minister said.

He said the government "will not play (with) the psychological limits" of fuel prices because it did not know what the prices would be tomorrow and how high they could go.

Over the past year fuel prices were considerably lower "and nobody was asking then how we would finance roads and similar costs from excises," Plenković said.

He recalled last week's request to the European Commission to propose measures at the European level given the global rise of fuel prices.

As for the complaint by road hauliers that the government was passively watching the rise in fuel prices, the prime minister said the government was not passive and that "we live in a free market."

"When petrol cost eight kuna, no one was saying anything," he said.

As for gas and electricity prices, he reiterated that they would not go up until spring and that Croatia was in a better position than many other countries in that respect.