ECONOMY

Price of heating oil set to soar

Consumers will have to pay almost 50 percent more for their heating oil this winter, oil traders suggested Tuesday, as the estimated price of the essential commodity is set to soar from 0.65-0.70 euros per liter last year to about 1 euro/lt when sales start on October 15.

In a press conference it held in Athens on Tuesday, the Panhellenic Federation of Fuel Station Owners and Oil Traders (POPEK) attributed the rise in price to the increase in value-added tax and in the special consumption tax, but noted that those factors have also led to a considerable rise in the illegal fuel trade.

The federation?s president, Charalambos Mavrakis, called on the government to bring the price of heating oil to the same level as diesel in order to beat the illegal fuel trade, while securing subsidies for people with a lower income.

Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos suggested on Tuesday that the prices of heating oil and diesel will be leveled in October 2012, with subsidies given to regions with colder winters.