Rome

Italian govt wants to lower petrol taxes

Consumer groups skeptical

Italian govt wants to lower petrol taxes

(ANSA) - Rome, September 20 - While the Italian government says it's considering ways to control gasoline prices at the pump, a consumer group says that's not good enough. The government is "studying" ways to control taxes on gasoline when fuel hits certain prices, Secretary for Economic Development Claudio De Vincenti said Thursday. That could involve a mechanism that would "sterilize taxes" by preventing them from rising along with higher international oil prices. But consumer advocacy group Codacons dismissed that statement as the kind of vague phrase governments use when they don't intend to take action. The government should develop a mechanism to halt prices before they rise so high that Italy's gasoline becomes the most expensive in Europe, according to Codacons. Other consumer groups, such as Federconsumatori and Adusbef, called for more radical cuts to gasoline taxes, saying "the mechanism designed by the government is still not enough". Meanwhile, Italy's Democratic Party urged the government to just lower gasoline taxes, "to counter inflation and to give relief to families, companies, and the transport system," said consumer affairs spokesman Antonio Lirosi.

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