Europe 1 with AFP / Photo credit: JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER / AFP 17:44 pm, September 25, 2023

The France and its border neighbours are affected by a significant spike in fuel prices. On the other hand, the attitude of the authorities may vary from one country to another, with aid measures sometimes more targeted, when some are considering increasing certain taxes. Examples in Germany, Belgium and Italy.

Soaring fuel prices affect France as well as its border neighbours, but the attitude of the authorities can vary from one country to another, with aid measures sometimes more targeted, when some even consider increasing certain taxes. Here is the situation in Germany, Belgium and Italy.

What average prices?

In France, the liter of diesel was on average 1.9410 euros on September 22, while the liter of super unleaded 95 E-10 was 1.9443 euros, according to the latest averages communicated Monday by the Ministry of Energy Transition. The price cap of 1.99 euros by the TotalEnergies group helps to contain prices that have been rising almost constantly since the spring. These price levels seem comparable to those of Italy, where the average price of diesel on Monday was 1.9444 euros on average, against 2.0002 euros on average for gasoline, all types combined.

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In Germany, on the other hand, fuels are slightly cheaper on average, with 1.856 euros on average for diesel and 1.901 euros on average for SP95-10, but with strong disparities between the Länder. It is difficult to compare with Belgium, where the federation of fuel traders does not establish averages, but only maximum and minimum prices.


If the France has put in place several aid measures since 2022, the year in which the government had granted a generalized rebate financed by public funds, the cost of which was estimated at 8 billion euros, at the highest level of the State has been hammering for several months the end of the "whatever it costs", in reference to the policy conducted to support the economy during the Covid-19 pandemic. Emmanuel Macron, however, announced Sunday the renewal of a more targeted measure, aimed at the most modest households, which had been put in place in early 2023: the "worker fuel allowance", in the amount of 100 euros per car per year.

Italy is following a similar path. While the Draghi government had set up a rebate at the pump by temporarily lowering excise duties, the Meloni government that succeeded him also wants to address the least well-off households as a priority: a new flat-rate "petrol bonus" of 80 euros must be approved this Monday in the Council of Ministers for households with annual incomes below 15,000 euros. Another tax- and charge-free bonus, of up to €200, may be granted by employers to their employees in the private sector (measure valid until 31 December 2023).

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In Germany, a temporary fuel rebate measure was put in place at the height of inflation, between June and the end of August 2022, but nothing else has been implemented since. In Belgium, there is no state aid to limit the increase in fuel.

German carbon tax

Germany will increase the CO1 tax or ecotax on 2024 January 2, which will lead to an increase in the price of fuel estimated at around 1.5 cents per liter of gasoline or diesel. The increase was supposed to take place on January 1, 2023, but the federal government had postponed it for a year, given the energy crisis.