ECONOMY

Fuel traders call for reduction in price of heating oil

Fuel traders on Wednesday petitioned the government to reduce the price of heating oil back to 2011-2012 levels, arguing that an increase in the special consumption tax introduced last year failed to bring in anticipated revenues.

The union representing the sector, POPEK, argued that instead of increasing state revenues, the tax hike last year – mainly intended to boost state coffers and to curb the illegal fuel trade – led to a drop in demand of around 70 percent.

It added that the majority of Greek households opted against purchasing heating oil last winter because they could not afford to pay the 1.35-1.45 euros per liter that it was being sold for on average.

POPEK proposed that the average cost per liter of heating oil be returned to 0.60 cents, which is around where it stood in the 2011-2012 period.

Thousands of apartment buildings and homes went without central heating last winter as a result of the hike in prices.

The heating oil trade normally opens in October.