Consumer association reports 230 petrol stations for raising prices in April
Complaints filed in 13 different autonomous communities, including Catalonia
MADRIDConsumer rights association Facua has reported 230 petrol stations for increasing fuel prices by 5 cents or more on April 1, the day in which the 20-cent bonus approved by the Spanish government to lower fuel prices came into effect. In addition, the increase pointed out by the consumer organisation coincide with the part of the subsidy that companies had to pay (the Spanish government paid 15 cents on the litre and companies another 5 cents). In a statement released on Wednesday, Facua said that in the absence of a response from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, it has opted to go directly to regional consumer protection authorities, which have the power to impose penalties.
Specifically, it has filed complaints in 13 different regions. Among them is Catalonia, the fifth community with the most petrol stations reported (a total of 18), as well as Andalusia, Aragon, Asturias, Castilla y León, Castilla-La Mancha, the Valencian Country and the Basque Country, among others. That companies would increase the price of fuel to compensate for the rebate had been the main fear of consumer organisations, but also of the Spanish government itself, ever since the announcement of the rebate for the entire population. That is why Pedro Sánchez's executive expects the National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC) to control petrol stations do not take advantage of the opportunity to raise the price of fuels. According to data from Treasury technicians, the rebate will cost oil companies €473m.
Out of the total of 230 service stations denounced, Facua has specified that Repsol heads the list, since it is the one with the most petrol stations reported (26), and is followed by Es Carburantes (12), Farruco SA, Cepsa and Galp. Facua has identified that 208 of the more than 5,000 service stations that updated prices and communicated it to the Ministry of Ecological Transition applied an increase of 5 cents or more to the price of diesel and 171 stations did so on the price of gasoline 95.
The consumer rights organisation points out that this practice violates the decree in which the Spanish Government's emergency plan to deal with the economic consequences of the war in Ukraine, in force until June 30, is included. It is for this reason that it requests the Ministry to ask the consumer protection bodies to investigate and open the necessary sanctioning proceedings in view of a practice that they consider "unfair".