OPINION

Puerile error fuels exploitation

One week has passed since George Papandreou, the Socialist prime minister, announced the government’s intention to introduce an increase in fuel tax, as part of its plans to up revenue and trim the burgeoning deficit. However, the administration’s proposal has not yet translated into any specific, enforceable law. As a result, petroleum refineries, gas station owners and gasoline distributors have already begun to exploit customers by incorporating – in advance – the proposed hikes in their prices. This explains the readiness of businesses to build up their inventories, for they knew only too well that the difference in fuel prices would simply augment their own profits rather than ending up in the state coffers. Our state officials have an obligation to display a far greater degree of responsibility, especially when extremely important decisions are announced at the highest level without any prior measures in place to ensure their proper implementation.