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.


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  • 374 Comments
      CBrown
      • 2 Years Ago
      You know I completely don't care what anybody is paying for gas in Italy or anywhere else. They have a different tax system than we do. Somehow people come up with this comparison to show that well "hey - maybe we should just go ahead and pay 3 or 4 more dollars a gallon then we can still get down on our hands and knees and be grateful. Like I said I don't care what they are paying. Stop helping the oil people who are making record profits. What I do care about is the fact that what we pay is the new normal when just 3 1/2 years ago it was about 50% less. Stop helping the greedy oil people and write a story that gets people mad at "Our" gas prices.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @CBrown
        [blocked]
        Carlos Cruz
        • 2 Years Ago
        @CBrown
        Supply side economics dont work... why do we keep trying this over and over again? Giving Trump a cut in his taxes wont make him employ more people unless he gets there is a surge in demand. Since the demand is not there Trump will just take the much needed tax dollars and add it to his savings.
        r_r
        • 2 Years Ago
        @CBrown
        increasing oil tax won't help oil company, only hurt them.
      Vince
      • 2 Years Ago
      Unfortunately due to rampant tax evasion in Italy a high tax on gasoline is necessary as a reliable source of income to fund their bloated and corrupt government. You would be amazed at how many man hours go into scrutinizing a building or business application, or how something as simple as installing an internet connection can take months. Miles of red tape and frustration are only compounded by the fact that the civil servants you are dealing with are usually completely incompetent, unhelpful, and were only hired because they are related to someone higher up the chain. Sometimes the only way to get something accomplished is to hire a lawyer, who you will then find is related to the same jerk who is holding you up in the first place. Its no wonder that when businesses finally get going and make money they do everything in their power to not give it to the same people who seemingly tried to prevent them from making it in the first place.
      Smiroman
      • 2 Years Ago
      Excuse me, I'm Italian. I read so many things that are true and many false things about my country and even Europe. I write maybe even pride, too. I grew up as the majority of young Europeans with America in the eyes, seeing your movies and absorb your culture, it is difficult to say that an Italian or European can be anti-American. Probably for all these reasons, and perhaps even a cultural thing (the America for many Americans is the Earth and everything ends there. Many Americans have never left their home state. Correct me if I'm wrong.) This series of "non-actual knowledge "creates misunderstandings. The first, but perhaps the most important, does not exist in Europe, a socialist economic system, there has never been even in Italy, where the Communist Party has always been the largest in Europe. This was a fortune to have a hybrid system, but also capitalist "socialist" in the welfare system. I used the word socialist, however, know that what for you is a socialist here maybe it is not. I read many Republicans (for me those are the GOP's friends bunga bunga as Silvio Berlusconi, who has led, in large part, Italy to ruin) talk about socialism and describe Italy as a country dead. I'm just saying, you've never been to Italy? Not on vacation, to live. I think many Americans underestimate Europe. Many Americans talk about the European debt but do not realize that the U.S. is comparable and only the central bank is able to ensure stability. But I do not want to talk politics. I just want to say, means specially those of the GOP, stop talking about socialism, you do not know what you're saying (maybe someone will know but most have no idea), just to say anything bad about Obama. We want to talk about Socialism? Ok, let's talk. If you socialism is that which exists in Italy then you should know that the German system is much more "socialist" than the Italian one. The German system is much more competitive today than America. All true? Yes and no. Just like that. Because Spain Italy (ok, Greece is a special case, not industry, and has spent a lot, too), are not as "junk" and Germany is not as "paradise". Levels of economical spreads between the economies of these countries allow Germany to borrow for free. Germany remains a wonderful model anyway. But let's stop saying that the Mediterranean countries are hell. Hey, California has a GDP comparable to the Italian one, it would be technically bankrupt. But ... wake up. Things are not so simple. Anyway, those of the GOP always wrong. SURELY :)
        jonclong
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Smiroman
        "Correct me if I'm wrong.) This series of "non-actual knowledge "creates misunderstandings"". Either you're a liberal plant, or (if you live in Italy) you've invalidated your argument. If you live in Italy, you only have second hand, non-actual knowledge of the U.S. and it's political system. How can you then claim that the GOP is always wrong? (or any other party?).
          • 2 Years Ago
          @jonclong
          [blocked]
      english9b
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is NOT even comparable to US prices. The fact is, ALL of Europe is paying more per gallon for gas, but they also have GREAT mass transit; towns are set up to be walking-friendly; and they don't have that far to travel within the country unless they are LEAVING the country. Apples and oranges, folks. Don't try to make us feel we're getting some kind of break by paying nearly $4/gallon!!!
      timber
      • 2 Years Ago
      The last time I filled up I paid 7,14 USD per galon (1,494 euro per liter but google took care of the math). This was regular diesel. Premium Diesel is bit more expensive Regular gasoline (95) is 8,13 USD per galon and premium (98) is a litlle over 9 USD per galon Well at least when I have a nervous breakdown from these prices the treatment will be almoust free.
        Proghog
        • 2 Years Ago
        @timber
        Wow your regular grade gas is 95 octane our premium grade gas is 93 octane while our regular is 89 octane and if your lucky enough to live in the Northeast you get 10% corn based ethanol in your gas no matter the octane.
          Essende
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Proghog
          @Proghog, actually since you are a part of an automotive blog you should know that USA calculates the octane rating different from Europe: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Octane_rating
          Proghog
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Proghog
          @Essende Oh, because I read car news on the internet means I should know that our octans numbers are calculated differently than they are in Europe. I didn't get that memo.
          Proghog
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Proghog
          It very hard for the general populous to get biodiesel in the US. Many cities have it but it's for the municipalities. We also have people with old Jetta and Golf TDIs that are modfied to run on old frying oil (griesel).
      Ducman69
      • 2 Years Ago
      Gas prices are disproportionate tax on the economically disadvantaged, and Italy should be ashamed of themselves. The poor, especially in the US, still need to be able to get around and purchase basic necessities, of which a big gas tax like this greatly increases costs (it costs the farmer more to farm, pesticide planes to spray, supermarkets to get food delivered, etc when fuel is more expensive). And the poor are typically buying old vehicles because of their low entry price, but these are inefficient vehicles, and you can't expect those already hurting for money to go out and buy a new Toyota hybrid. Meanwhile, as a percentage of income the upper class 15% (that more often than not can decide their own wages, such as CEOs and boards that give themselves lofty bonuses even when stocks plummet under their leadership), such a tax is literally meaningless. So if I were an Italian lower and middle class, which should represent the overwhelming majority of the country, I'd
      nancy
      • 2 Years Ago
      Is this article supposed to make us appreciate our gas prices? What's next, 'Eat all your food because there are kids in China that are going hungry'?
      admford
      • 2 Years Ago
      Well, since I am in Italy, and I'm forced to pay these prices, I can sum up the excise taxes on 1 liter of gasoline. Excise taxes in effect on gasoline: tax for the war in Abissinia (1935) tax for the Suez crisis (1956) tax for the Vajont disaster (1963) tax for the Flood of Florence (1966) tax for the earthquake in Belice (1968) tax for the earthquake in Friuli (1976) tax for the earthquake in Irpinia (1980) tax for the peace keeping mission in Lebanon (1982) tax for the peace keeping mission in Lebanon (1983) tax for the peace keeping mission in Bosnia (1996) tax for the new public transport workers national contract (2004) tax for buying ecological buses for public transport (2005) tax to finance cultural activities (2011) tax to finance the united fund for theatrical/film performances (2011) tax for the illegal immigrant emergency during the Libian crisis (2011) tax for the floods in Ligura and Tuscany (November 2011) tax for the "Save Italy" budget of the Monti government (2012) tax for the "Economic Stability Law" of the Monti Government (2012) These excise taxes are in lire and euros, and due to the age of some of them, they may be adjusted for inflation. The laws specifying this are not that well known to the public in general. But either way, the National excise taxes on gasoline end up around 0.7241 euro per liter. In addition to these National excise taxes, there are the Regional excise taxes on gasoline, which are around 0.0258 euros per liter. The price of gasoline here is about 0.8833 euro (producer's cost) and you add in a percentage for the station manager/owner (0.0520 euro). So let's see: 0.7499 euro - excise taxes 0.8833 euro - producer's cost 0.0520 euro - station owner's share ---------------------- 1.6852 euro - VAT free total 0.3539 euro - 21% VAT (Value Added Tax) ---------------------- 2.0391 euro - what Italians are forced to pay at the pump Did you see what's being done here? You pay VAT on the excise taxes too, not on the wholesale price of the gasoline. In other words, double taxation. Over all, the tax one pays in Italy on gasoline is about 54.13% the total cost. So yes, sorry to be an Italian, or to be an American living in Italy.
        Carma Racing
        • 2 Years Ago
        @admford
        Thanks for the thoughtful and detailed post. They should add it to the article.
      searune
      • 2 Years Ago
      There is no gas shortages. We have been victimized since the oil embargo of 1973. They did a study back in the sixties and we have enough oil, natural gas and coal to last our country 600 years. They are shipping our fuel out of this country overseas making big profits and keeping supply down here to keep prices high. Also, the alaskan pipeline is used to fuel Israel and Japan. Those countries will recieve oil before we do because of a deal that was made back in the seventies.
      thomas
      • 2 Years Ago
      According to analysts, with gas at these prices the average Italian family is spending more on fuel than it is on food. Ouch. At almost $4/gal, so do we. And we have 3 kids, one of whom is a 6ft tall 180lb 14yr old eating machine! If Italians' food costs are even close enough to make a relative comparison, the inflation rate must be crushing their economy! 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. And yet Obama is still promising, and doing everything hew can to actually keep this promise, that he will get our gas and other energy prices UP to the level of these European Socialist countries. Even after being unequivocally proven that higher taxes and burdensome regulations smother the economy and cause tax revenues to drop significantly, he "quietly" signed another Executive Order last week while everyone was watching the RNC, that mandates impossible standards and levels of "green" energy, limits the amount of energy that we currently have, and imposes massive regulations and taxes on the ones that are left ! Because it's just not "Fair" that Americans have such abundant energy and access to the resources while poorer nations are struggling to develop. If we're going to have a "Global Community" that is "equitable, fair, and just", then we have to sacrifice instead of exploiting the world's resources for our own comfort and convenience! gaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!! It's too early in the morning for the Communiter in Chief to be ruining my day!
      Sigrid
      • 2 Years Ago
      They should tell you all, the gas itself is not expensive . Its the tax the put on there
        shigllgetcha
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Sigrid
        what is your point it costs the consumer the same whether its tax or the petrol they pay for thats expensive
        seattlewkr
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Sigrid
        The taxes are a fraction of the total.
      dadsathomeallday
      • 2 Years Ago
      Don't worry people or should i say " folks " Barack said we will make cars to get more mileage per gallon so When he gets our cars to get double the miles we get now to a gallon He will say 9.50 is like the same as paying around 4 or 5 dollars because We get more miles to a gallon so it equals off See Don't you " folks " fell better now? This is what Obuma want's High gas and energy prices He said it and there is video proof he said it
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