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DRIVING

German petrol costs rise sharply after tax cut ends

Fuel prices at German gas stations shot up on Thursday following the end of the three-month discount period.

A car drives past the price board at a gas station in Munich on September 1st after the end of the fuel tax discount.
A car drives past the price board at a gas station in Munich on September 1st after the end of the fuel tax discount. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Lennart Preiss

According to an early morning study, prices at many gas stations were significantly higher than in the same period on Wednesday.

E10 premium petrol cost more than €2 per litre at a majority of the gas stations surveyed by DPA between 6 and 6.30am. The day before, the prices had not risen above the €2 mark. 

Diesel had already climbed above €2 per litre at the majority of gas stations on Wednesday.

And on Thursday, the price of diesel was now well above €2.10 at a majority of fuel hubs. In some cases, diesel cost more than €2.30 per litre.

READ ALSO: End of €9 ticket and fuel tax cut: Germany says goodbye to cheap travel 

DPA looked at nearly 400 gas stations in Munich, Berlin and Hamburg early on Thursday morning. 

From June 1st until the end of August, energy taxes on fuel in Germany were reduced to the EU minimums. Alongside the €9 ticket for public transport users, the measure was intended to offer relief from the soaring cost of mobility following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

Chancellor Olaf Scholz ‘s government cut the duty on fuel by about 35 cents per litre for petrol, and about 17 cents for diesel.

Prices had already begun to rise in the last two weeks in the run up to the offer ending. 

READ ALSO: German petrol prices rise before end of fuel discount

However, as gas station operators have also purchased fuel at the lower tax rate, they could initially continue to sell petrol and diesel stocks at a slightly cheaper rate.

Meanwhile, some politicians are calling for the fuel tax cut in Germany to continue. 

Bavaria leader Markus Söder, of the opposition CSU, said in a tweet that the fuel discount “must be continued, because fuel prices are rising enormously again”.

He added: “France and Italy are extending their fuel discounts. Why not Berlin? Help is needed quickly, because rural areas and commuters in particular rely on cars.”

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ENERGY

Norway and Germany seek Nato-led cooperation for key undersea structures

Germany and Norway want to start a NATO-led alliance to protect critical underwater infrastructure, their leaders said on Wednesday, weeks after explosions hit two key gas pipelines in the fallout from the war in Ukraine.

Norway and Germany seek Nato-led cooperation for key undersea structures

 “We are in the process of asking the NATO Secretary General to set up a coordination office for the protection of underwater infrastructure,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told a press conference in Berlin.

“We take the protection of our critical infrastructure very seriously and nobody should believe that attacks will remain without consequences,” he said.

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store said the alliance would be “an informal initiative to exchange between civilian and also military actors” with NATO providing “a centre, a coordination point”.

Underwater cables and pipelines were “arteries of the modern economy” and it was necessary to create “a coordinated joint effort to ensure security for this infrastructure”, he said.

Scholz said he and Store would propose the plan to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who is due in Berlin for a security conference. The Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines off the Danish island of Bornholm were targeted by two huge explosions at the end of September.

The pipelines, which connect Russia to Germany, had been at the centre of geopolitical tensions as Moscow cut gas supplies to Europe in suspected
retaliation to Western sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine.

Although they were not in operation when the leaks occurred, they both still contained gas which spewed up through the water and into the atmosphere.

Russia and Western countries, particularly the United States, have traded bitter barbs over who is responsible for the blasts.

Several European countries have since taken steps to increase security around critical infrastructure. 

The G7 interior ministers warned earlier this month at a meeting in Germany that the Nord Stream explosions had highlighted “the need to better protect our critical infrastructure”.

Norway has become Europe’s main gas supplier in the wake of the war in Ukraine, taking the place of Russia.

The Scandinavian country has a vast network of pipelines, stretching for almost 9,000 kilometres, linking it to the continent, which experts have said are at risk of sabotage.

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