Germans turn to crime to combat high petrol prices

The high price of petrol is leading more and more Germans to engage in illegal activities in order to keep their tanks full without going bankrupt, an article published in the Welt am Sonntag newspaper said.

Germans turn to crime to combat high petrol prices
Photo: DPA

The paper reported an incident in Düren, a Rhineland town between Aachen and Cologne where several people filled up at an illegal station.

The station’s supplier was a 60-year-old worker from a nearby construction company who siphoned off thousands of litres of diesel fuel from his company’s reserve tanks.

Police said the fuel was selling for well below one euro per litre at the “station.”

On Thursday German auto club ADAC said February was the most expensive month in German history for petrol prices, with average costs for Super E10 at €1.59 per litre, or 5.1 cents higher than in January. Prices have since gone up further.

Authorities said it wasn’t just people with a criminal record who stopped to fill up, but families and customers of the firm.

The scheme, which was uncovered in December, wasn’t the only one in Düren. A worker at an agricultural cooperative in town was charging 75 cents per litre for diesel fuel he siphoned off from his employer.

Many local people also took advantage of this, the newspaper wrote, saying some 41,000 litres were sold by the 43-year-old worker before he was detected by a security camera.

Now that both schemes have been uncovered, drivers in Düren have to pay what everybody else in the country does, the paper wrote. Those prices are running at over €1.54 per litre for diesel and €1.65 for super.

The Local/mw

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Germany’s BMW to put €1 billion into electric vehicles in Austria

German auto manufacturer BMW said on Monday it would invest "around one billion euros" in the production of electric vehicles at a plant in Austria from 2025.

Germany's BMW to put €1 billion into electric vehicles in Austria

Altogether, 600,000 units a year should roll off the line at the factory in Steyr under the investment plan, set to run until 2030, BMW said in a statement.

From 2025, BMW will “develop and produce the next generation of e-drives” at the Austrian site, BMW’s production chief Milan Nedeljkovic said.

The refurbishment of the plant will see two new production lines added and the location expanded by 60,000 square metres.

The new facilities would require €710 million in investment, while €230 million would be dedicated to boosting vehicle development at Steyr.

“Around half” the 4,400 employees at the site would be working on “e-mobility” by 2030, plant boss Alexander Susanek said.

The Bavarian manufacturer said it aimed to have two million electric vehicles on the road by 2025, promising 13 new electric models and a revamp of its Mini brand.

BMW has already said it will spend €400 million to upgrade its home factory in Munich to produce electric vehicles.