Heating oil deliveries in the balance

As temperatures dropped over the weekend, gas station owners reiterated their threat to suspend deliveries of heating oil to Greek homes, due to begin on Friday, unless the government speeds up the process by which they are repaid the special consumption tax they must pay out when buying the oil. The union representing the country’s petrol station owners said it wants the Finance Ministry to commit to the repayment of the special consumption tax within two days of the submission of invoices to the ministry. But protesters appeared to hold little hope of a solution being found anytime soon. «It is quite clear that the delay in the repayment of the tax is due to the fact that the state has no money,» the union said in a statement. But the union stressed that gas station owners were facing particularly difficult times «as income dwindles due to a drop in consumption, operational costs climb and pressure from suppliers builds.» The union, which claims that the government owes gas station owners money from last year, is to hold a press conference tomorrow to declare its position. Last week the union said that heating oil would be sold at 73 to 75 cents per liter this year, compared to 52 to 53 cents last year.

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