Drivers in certain parts of Italy are currently shelling out a staggering $9.50 per gallon of gasoline, according to Bloomberg. The hefty fuel prices are largely the result of the European debt crisis. Italy has hiked fuel taxes in an attempt to get a handle on the country's public debt, which has the dubious honor of being the fourth-highest in the entire world. Of course, the jump in fuel costs has only hurt consumer spending in the country, sending Italy even farther into a recession that continues to damage Fiat earnings.
Fuel prices have increased by around 20 percent versus the same time period last year, and that jump has caused new car sales to slacken by 20 percent through the first seven months of 2012. Meanwhile, gasoline and diesel consumption has fallen by around 9.7 percent through June.
According to analysts, with gas at these prices the average Italian family is spending more on fuel than it is on food. Ouch.