While Americans are complaining about gas prices here, they are significantly lower than in other parts of the world. The European debt crisis has driven gas up to absolutely horrifying numbers, including in Italy where you will pay $9.50 per gallon is you have the savings to fill up your gas tank that is. This is a 20% increase over the same time last year. In response, gas and diesel consumption has feel around 9.7% since June, which is to be expected when people just can’t afford to pay that kind of money.
“You need a smart strategy to save on gas,” said Giovanni Cimmino, 37, who manages a metals trading company near Milan. With pump prices at a record in Italy, “I tend to use more public transportation and avoid driving when it’s not necessary.”
As you can expect, many Italians are outraged at having to pay those kinds of prices. “It’s blackmail for people like me who don’t live in a big city and can’t take public transport,” said Costanza Cappelli, a 32-year-old consultant to a jewelry maker, who lives in the Tuscan countryside. “I don’t have an alternative.”
As yet, it doesn’t sound as if there are any solid plans in place, but the Italian government is heeding the warning given by Emiliano Brancaccio, Professor of Political Economy at the University of Sannio in Benevento. He said, “If fuel prices remain so high, we could face an inflationary depression. Levies like these risk having the worst impact on economic growth as they hit all types of income indiscriminately.”
While you think gas stations might try to capitalize on their earnings through this time, it is just the opposite, especially for the largest energy producer in Italy ENI. They report lines 10 cars long when they are able to give weekend discounts of up to 20 cents off per liter. This shows just how desperate drivers are to be able to afford the gas it takes them to get to work and other places of necessity.