Fuel companies deny holiday price-gouging

The German head of petrol providers BP and Aral on Tuesday vehemently rejected accusations that the companies were gouging driver with higher prices ahead of the Easter holiday.

Fuel companies deny holiday price-gouging
Photo: DPA

On Monday, German automobile club ADAC had said that Aral and its parent company BP were set to take advantage of customers during the high-traffic long weekend.

But the head of Aral, Uwe Franke, blamed German taxes for high petrol prices.

“Without taxes a litre of petrol or diesel costs between €0.53 and €0.61 – depending on what kind,” Franke told daily Bild. “With that we are in the lower third for the EU countries.”

Franke went on to say that a litre of gasoline costs less than a litre of any beverage sold at fuelling stations.

“This accusation is purely false and won’t be any more correct through continued repetition,” he said, adding that international markets don’t turn to accommodate German holiday weekends.

Part of the misunderstanding over fuel prices comes from comparing the price of crude oil with petrol, he told the paper. Since the beginning of the year fuel prices have increased significantly per litre, while the increased cost of crude oil has been low, he explained.

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Could sleeper trains offer Germans cheap, low-carbon travel across Europe?

Several political parties in Germany have said they want to bring back sleeper trains in order to meet carbon emissions targets.

Could sleeper trains offer Germans cheap, low-carbon travel across Europe?
A sleeper train in Austria. Photo: dpa/APA | Georg Hochmuth

The Green party have said that they want to put state subsidies into night trains that will connect Germany with cities as far flung as St Petersburg in the north and Lisbon in the south.

According to the environmentalist party’s plans, 40 night rail lines could connect 200 destinations across the continent including islands like Mallorca, which would be linked in by train and ferry.

The Greens want the EU to buy a fleet of sleeper trains that could travel at speeds of between 200 km/h and 250 km/h.

The CDU have also announced plans to rebuild the country’s sleeper train services.

Deutsche Bahn stopped its last sleeper service in 2016 citing the high costs involved in maintaining its fleet that was not recuperated through ticket sales.

Earlier this year the state owned company said it had “no plans” to purchase new sleeper wagons.