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EU: Commission asked to investigate alleged fuel cartel in Malta

 |  December 14, 2016

The European Parliament’s petitions committee has asked the European Commission to conduct a preliminary investigation into complaints of an alleged cartel in the sale of fuel at Maltese petrol stations.

This follows a petition by the Malta Automobile Club that Malta is the only EU country in which the price of fuel is exactly the same at every petrol station, meaning that consumers do not receive any benefits from the competitive oil market.

“The import, storage and sale of oil and diesel should not be in the hands of government or state-owned companies, but instead it should be transferred to the control of foreign oil companies,” the MAC wrote in its petition. “The Prime Minister, the Energy Minister and the Economy Minister announce the price of liquid fuels in their budget talks three months before they enter into force. The government owns all oil stores, and the import of oil is mainly controlled by the state-owned Enemed Company Limited, although there are two private companies who also import diesel oil. The price of fuel is exactly the same at all service stations. Which other EU country has the same situation?”

Now, eleven months since the petition was lodged, the Petitions Committee has informed the Malta Automobile Club that its petition is admissible and that it has been forwarded to the European Commission to conduct a preliminary investigation.

MAC president Alfred Farrugia questioned why the Petitions Committee will not conduct its own investigation, arguing that the EC has already defended the practice, “bringing up all kinds of excuses no doubt fed by the local authorities”.

Full Content: Malta Today

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