The price of gasoline has risen in Italy this 2023 after the elimination of the discount created ad hoc
The Prime Minister faces controversy on an issue that she always endorsed in the electoral campaign
From the Government, now, it is impossible to reduce taxes in the matter, which it always defended
At the center of the controversy a 2019 video by Giorgia Meloni who, upon arriving at a gas station, criticizes an amateur parody that the 50 euros that you pay to fill the tank, 15 go to pay for gasoline and service and 35 go directly to the state coffers. Video in which he ended, with an intense tone, asking for the “progressive abolition of specific fuel taxes”. A topic that for years in Italy has generated debate because this figure, which is around 40%, has been accumulating for decades and is always more expensive. Some of these taxes were born to finance certain objectives but, although many of them were resolved, those specific taxes were maintained. It is, without a doubt, a subject that normally monopolizes electoral debates, but what Giorgia Meloni could not foresee was that, when she came to the Government, some things would have to be qualified. It is precisely at the point where she is now, some Italian newspapers headline this week “Meloni has discovered reality.” Almost one hundred days after her swearing in as president of the Council of Ministers, Meloni faces the difficulty of meeting the expectations of her electorate.
The accusations from the opposition were not long in coming, blaming Meloni for having lied in his electoral promises when he announced that he would have intervened in this aspect.. “Families will pay more not only for fuel, but also for basic necessities. 88% of consumer goods -he added- are transported by road”, criticized Deborah Serrachiani, spokesperson for the PD in the Chamber of Deputies.
Meloni’s fight against the accise (specific taxes in Spanish), as the viralized video demonstrates, has always been present in her debate and that is why now the problem seems to run aground even to her own majority, where Salvini’s League and Berlusconi’s Forza Italia have made it known that they will continue to insist for a measure that includes a reduction in the final price of fuel. But the conclusion of the premiere came in a video on his social networks, in a section that he recently opened with a summary a week. “The video is from 2019, the world in the meantime has changed. I have not been inconsistent, I have not announced the electoral campaign that would reduce these taxes ”, He says. But, here, the newspaper library plays a trick on him, not only with the video, since among the electoral proposals of his party, Brothers of Italyfor this past September 25 was “sterilization of state energy and fuel revenues and automatic reduction of VAT and excise duties.”
Unlike the amount of money from the Premier, the Fratelli d’Italia Electoral Program provides for an ‘automatic reduction of VAT and accise’. A label that is intended for the State in September 2022 https://t.co/1xgynFCfYL
—Open (@Open_gol) January 11, 2023
Meloni also justifies that the choice has been to invest the 10 billion euros that the measure of the direct reduction in the price of fuel cost for other social measures. The premier wants to make it clear that her budget spending is oriented towards social justice and that the reduction in the price of gasoline helped those who needed it but also those who did not, because it was a general measure. What it seems is that Giorgia Meloni is having to reach many more commitments than she expected and more extensions to her electoral program, designed so that Italy would stop being the banana republic that she had criticized so many times. For now, it seems, it will have to wait.
The strike scheduled for the end of the month
The whirlwind with the issue of fuel has culminated in the formalization of a strike for January 25 and 26 by the gas stations, which have felt offended by the introduction of a measure that requires greater transparency on the daily price with respect to the national average. The workers accuse feeling pointed with the finger with this rule. Meloni has tried to ease the mood by saying that “most of the gas stations are honest and responsible and out of respect for them we have to intervene”, but the issue of fuel remains the first controversy for the extreme right government in this new year in Italy.