Friday, 22 July 2022

PM: Fuel Prices Expected To Drop Further

ZAGREB, 22 July 2022 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Friday that fuel prices should drop further and announced that the government would intervene again if such a possibility arises following the calculation of fuel prices, which is released tomorrow.

The government intervenes every two weeks and, according to what I've just discussed with (Economy) Minister Filipović, it seems that fuel prices might be even lower, Plenković told the press on the island of Hvar.

If that is the case, and the calculation is tomorrow, we will intervene again and make decisions at the government conference call on Monday, Plenković said.

Asked about reports that a thousand doctors in Croatia had handed in their resignations, he said that he did not know about it, adding that doctors were among the better-paid public employees in Croatia.

"The only ones that perhaps have a higher salary are air traffic controllers, who are complaining about HRK 50,000. A stressful job. Come on," he said.

He underscored that the government had increased salaries in health care in general and that he didn't know when someone would be satisfied.

I think everyone needs to realise what kind of global crisis we are in and understand that this is the moment when we have to return to our joint contribution to solidarity, Plenković said.

With regard to President Zoran Milanović's statement that the Social Democratic Party was responsible for the construction of the Pelješac Bridge, he said that Milanović then thought that the SDP was also responsible for Croatia's accession to the euro area, membership in the European Union, and accession to the Schengen Area...

He said everything was ready for the Pelješac Bridge opening ceremony on Tuesday, to which all state officials were invited, including Milanović.

Everyone is invited, all state officials, all members of parliament, this is a state event, once in history, said Plenković, who today attended the opening of an external berth at the Sućuraj port on the island of Hvar.

The project is worth over HRK 35 million, and it is partly financed by EU funds, partly from the state budget, and partly from the budget of Split-Dalmatia County.

For more, check out our politics section.

Monday, 4 July 2022

Minister: Ina Will Help Small Distributors

ZAGREB, 4 July 2022 - Economy Minister Davor Filipović said on Monday that the wholesale price of fuel would be restricted for the next two weeks so that major oil market stakeholders, including Ina, would bear the brunt compared to small companies, which had done well in previous years.

He underscored that the government aimed to protect citizens and help the economy, so fuel prices at off-motorway filling stations would be the same as in the past two weeks, namely HRK 13.08 for diesel and HRK 13.50 for Eurosuper 95 petrol. He added that fuel prices at motorway filling stations would be reduced to HRK 13.83 for petrol and HRK 14.28 for diesel.

Filipović said that under the latest government decision, the wholesale price would be limited for the next two weeks so that the most significant stakeholders in the oil market could bear most of the burden compared to small distributors.

"We have been continually communicating with retailers. In the past two weeks Ina did not increase its wholesale price, and small distributors on the most part sold their own stocks. Therefore, we can say that in the past two weeks they did not earn as much as they had planned," said Filipović, adding that in the next two weeks, INA would take on most of the burden and would not increase its prices for retailers to make it easier for them to operate.

He said that there were 40 small oil distributors and that in 2021 they generated total sales revenue of almost HRK 3.5 billion, and a profit of HRK 133 million. They operated equally successfully in 2020, the minister said. All of that should be taken into account and it is necessary to take a look at the bigger picture because we are in a delicate situation, Filipović said, adding that without the government's intervention, the price of diesel would be more than HRK 16.

Asked what the Prime Minister referred to when he mentioned tax scissors for profiteers, Filipović said that the government was considering all options and monitoring the situation and would act in the interest of citizens and the economy when it assessed it to be appropriate.

When asked if small distributors were unjustly complaining, he underscored that the aim was to limit wholesale prices. The situation is difficult for everyone, small distributors are not accustomed to it because their business has been successful in the past, he said.

"These past two weeks and the next two weeks will certainly not be easy for them, but I believe that we will all successfully overcome this situation together," the minister emphasized.

For more, check out our politics section.

Monday, 14 March 2022

Increasing Number of Croats Driving to Hungary to Buy Cheaper Fuel

March 14th, 2022 - Soaring fuel prices have left some Croats with no choice but to head over the border to Hungary where fuel is significantly cheaper

There is a small Hungarian town called Letenje, located right next to the Croatian border. Formerly known as a shopping mecca, the town is nowadays visited by Croatian guests for one specific purpose: filling up their fuel tanks. Fuel is significantly cheaper in Hungary compared to the current prices in Croatia, writes HRT, whose reporters talked to Croatian customers at a petrol station in Letenje.

‘I come from a village five kilometres away from the border, fuel is three kuna cheaper here so we save 150 kuna per tank, then we go grocery shopping; it makes a difference’, said Ivan Kranjčec from Donji Kraljevac.

‘I came here because people are saying it’s cheaper, it’s my first time here’, said Martina Mlinarec from Čakovec.

‘A full tank, to the top, 60 to 70 litres’, said Petar from Čakovec about his purchase.

Lower fuel prices have also been attracting foreign truck drivers as of late, leading some petrol stations to limit the purchase to 100 litres per customer. Nevertheless, yesterday’s crowds had Hungarian petrol stations running out of fuel.

Apart from Croats, Hungarian petrol stations are visited by customers from Slovenia and Austria. Only recently, the Hungarian oil and gas company MOL has been selling 5 million litres of fuel a day, whereas now they sell 15 million litres per day.

Due to the large influx of foreign customers, Hungary imposed restrictions on Friday.

‘According to the new regulations, drivers of foreign trucks over 3.5 tons are no longer allowed to buy fuel at our petrol stations at a subsidised price. They have to pay the market price’, said Andras Orosz, a spokesman for MOL.

Owners of personal vehicles can still buy fuel at the more affordable price and without restrictions. Hungary's largest oil company claims that there’s no shortage to worry about.

Inflation in Hungary recently reached its highest level in 15 years, so the government froze the prices of energy, food and mortgage loans. Many have called this a pre-election move of Viktor Orban, as parliamentary elections are to be held in Hungary in April.

Either way, Croats will likely continue to flock to Hungary to refill their fuel tanks, despite having to wait in long queues.

 

Tuesday, 8 February 2022

As Croatian Fuel Prices Soar, Minister Tomislav Coric Talks Intervention

February the 8th, 2022 - Fuel prices are rising once again and Economy Minister Tomislav Coric has promised that the state will intervene as the situation continues to unfold.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, recently, a session of the Economic and Social Council was held, after which, Minister Tomislav Coric spoke in a statement to the media about the procurement and prices of natural gas, as reported by N1.

He commented on the rise in fuek prices, stating that nobody could have expected such a jump and that the current situation could not have been predicted.

Asked if time had shown that they had made a mistake in choosing a methodology such as the one chosen back in 2016, Minister Tomislav Coric said no, because no one could have predicted the current situation: "Changing the methodology at this time won't result in anything."

He said he couldn't say at this time exactly how much fuel prices would would continue to rise. "I saw in the media that it was 30 percent. The logic is that we'll have to find funds for that, at the expense of the state budget. If the thesis about the 30 percent increase is correct, it's equal to about 55-56 million kuna more,'' he said.

He reiterated that Croatia and the world is currently in a phase of a huge shock to both fuel and oil prices.

Asked whether or not the Croatian Government had already submitted a request for a review of the arbitration for the INA-MOL shareholder agreement, he said: ''Tomorrow is the deadline for that and the government will react within the deadline. Everything is ready, such requests are usually submitted on the last day of the deadline.''

He touched on Damir Vandjelic's accusation that the governments acted to the detriment of INA and didn't react when necessary. He said that he cooperated correctly with Vandjelic when he was a member of the INA Supervisory Board.

"From the things he'd been saying, it seemed to me that he's been questioning the actions and reactions and processes in the Republic of Croatia and is thus slowly becoming politically engaged, even though he's been politically inactive all the time. I welcome his political moment and place his comments in the context of his political engagement.''

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

Monday, 24 January 2022

Croatian Average Salary Can Purchase 4 Times Less Fuel Than Swiss

January the 24th, 2022 - The Croatian average salary can purchase four times less fuel than the average Swiss salary can, which is unlikely to come as much of a shock to anyone. Now that the Swiss labour market is fully open to Croatian nationals, facts such as this one are likely to only add to further demographic issues.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, here in Croatia, 643 litres of Eurosuper 95 petrol can be purchased at its current price for the average Croatian average salary.

At the same time, the Swiss can buy 2742 litres of fuel for their average salary, the Danes can buy 2150, the Norwegians can buy 1828, and the Germans can buy 1706 litres. The neighbouring Italians, with a slightly lower average salary of 1,752 euros and currently the eighth most expensive fuel in all of Europe (1.77 euros per litre) can purchase one thousand litres.

When you look at the price of fuel only, Croats are currently paying for the 18th most expensive petrol from as many as 44 European countries, meaning that the country's fuel prices are among the most expensive.

A litre of petrol is the most expensive in the Netherlands, amounting to 2.11 euros, followed by Norway with a price tag of 1.92 euros, the Finns with 1.89 euros, then the Icelanders and Danes, and surprisingly the Greeks with 1.78 euros per litre of fuel.

Given that the average salary in Greece stands at roughly 1,116 euros, they can purchase less fuel than the average Croatian salary can, being able to afford just 627 litres. The Portuguese are in a similar situation, where a litre of Super 95 costs 1.71 euros, or almost 13 kuna. With their average salary of 1,110 euros, they can afford just a few more litres of fuel than the Croats - 649 litres.

The bad news for Croatia is that in 17 countries across Europe with (currently) higher fuel prices than those listed in Croatia, with the exception of Greece, significantly more litres of fuel can be bought for an average salary than for the Croatian average salary. That said, it is also old news that we're following Western European countries in terms of prices, but not in terms of overall living standards.

According to the latest data, fuel in neighbouring Serbia is only slightly cheaper than it is here in Croatia, 10.7 kuna when recalculated, and in Serbia the average salary is only 550 euros, which means that only 385 litres of Super 95 can be purchased for a typical Serbian wage. The ratio is more or less the same down south in Montenegro, while in Bosnia and Herzegovina, thanks to the slightly lower price of a litre of gasoline (1.20 euros), the situation is a little more bearable.

The Hungarians, Bulgarians and Romanians, as well as the Slovaks, can currently buy slightly less petrol for their average salaries than the Croats can.

In a total of six European countries, petrol is still below the 1 euro price limit. Apart from Russia, these are Belarus, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia and Ukraine, Novi list writes.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

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