114 POLITICS – OMBUDSMAN – POSITION – FUELS
Rising Fuel Prices
Sofia, November 14 (BTA) – Ombudsman Maya Manolova commented here on Wednesday the rising fuel prices and ongoing protests in a statement.
She said that one of the reasons for the protests is the lack of adequate reaction by the State, which is responsible for making laws that lay the ground for a free competitive market of goods and services and for their enforcement.
Manolova admitted that the prices of fuels in Bulgaria are undoubtedly impacted by global prices. However, given that Bulgaria has the lowest excise duty in Europe, cheap electricity and labour, the end prices of fuels are not the lowest in Europe, she remarked.
The Ombudsman went on to ask the government six questions which include: does regulation in the sector protect the interests of citizens as well; does legislation create competitive enough conditions for fuel imports; is there a monopoly over the management of tax warehouses; do the legislative framework and practices create opportunities for cheaper imports of petrol and diesel fuels or whether they obstruct them; can the VAT on fuels be lowered; what steps have been taken in connection with recommendations by the Commission for Protection of Competition to improve the market environment, which include setting up state tax warehouses. LI/PP