Illegal trade in gas is soaring in Greece due to the increase in taxation and the absence of inspections, leading to total annual state losses in excess of 20 million euros.
Market sources say that the majority of gas stations tamper with their pumps, while large quantities of industrial-use gas – that bears lower tax – is being sold as autogas, which has a considerably higher consumption tax. An estimated 20 percent of autogas sold in Greece originates from industry gas deliveries that are made illegally.
“Every liter of [industrial-use] gas costs about 21 cents less than a liter of autogas. The economic motive for law violation has become even stronger,” notes a market professional.
He goes on to note the complete absence of inspections and the fact there is no system to gauge inflows and outflows installed at gas stations. He further warns against choosing gas stations with the lowest prices, as they are the ones most likely to be cheating the state, and customers.