By Jason Moore AS petrol prices continue to rise and motorists threaten action perhaps the time has come for the major suppliers to freeze petrol prices and just take a dip in profits. If you look at any of the major stock exchanges the biggest performers are always the oil companies who ring-up enormous profits. Then there are governments who make a small fortune from taxes on petrol. Why does the motorist have to pay while everybody else can walk away smiling? Why is it that there is such an important difference in fuel prices in European countries. In Britain petrol is now priced at 1 pound a litre, in Spain it is one euro. How can there be such an important difference when it is the same companies involved? Shouldn't the European Union take action to ensure that there is a single price for petrol across Europe? I don't really think that governments take petrol prices too seriously. They know that motorists have little choice and will pay. And it is not only car owners who are paying the price. Airlines have already been forced to increase their fares because of the fuel situation. Cheap air travel is in danger if the present petrol crisis continues. The only way forward, I believe, is to encourage the development of vehicles powered by alternative fuels. While, it may not be in the interest of many governments and the big suppliers, it will obviously benefit the motorist. Solar and electric powered cars are a reality, all it needs is for the major automobile companies to put them into mass production.

In the meantime, and to help motorists and the airline industry and as a gesture of goodwill, perhaps government and the main suppliers could suffer a drop in revenue just to help the motorist. The European economy is in a very fragile condition. The last thing it needs at the moment is escalating fuel prices. Consumer spending is already suffering and with further rises on the horizon, soon motorists will start feeling the pinch quite severely.