No checks, more taxes

As is customary around this time of year, the price of heating oil has been announced as sales for this winter season begin. However, the problem of the widespread illegal trade in heating oil and rampant smuggling of liquid fuels has yet to be effectively addressed despite promises of a crackdown on the phenomenon.

For some mysterious reason, the technology to monitor inflows and outflows at the pumps has been installed at gas stations for some time now, but remains effectively inactive, while even more puzzling is the fact that in the absence of such systems, there appear to be nowhere near the number of inspections that should be taking place on gas stations and depots.

The state seems to be OK with allowing millions of euros in taxes to slip through its fingers, preferring to raise the taxes that citizens have to pay instead of doing its job. The only conclusion that can be drawn is that this is not a matter of equipment or know-how, just an absence of political will.