Staff Reporter
THE president of a Balearic Business Federation, Josep Oliver, called on petrol companies and government administration to cushion the effects of a forecast rise in fuel prices in the next months. Oliver asked for “a real effort to be made on the part of the powers that be” to minimise the impact on companies of a rise in current energy costs.
He appealed for “sensitivity” in the application of any new taxes.
The president's “appeal for moderation” was triggered by yesterday's announcement by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) that they have decided to cut their current production. The action will be taken in spite of the elevated price of a barrel of crude oil, which ten days ago reached its highest price registered in the last 13 years. Nevertheless, the president of the federation estimated that next summer will not witness an exorbitant rise in fuel prices, because the time of year traditionally registers minimum energy use when the industry sector is “on holiday”. Oliver believed that current fuel stocks can absorb the reduction fixed by OPEC, but only if the oil producing companies “don't go much beyond what has already been announced”. Furthermore, he pointed out that Spain has no substantial increased energy costs in the last months, in spite of the high price of a barrel of crude.
This is thanks to the euro currently being strong against the dollar, a situation which has enabled Spain to absorb the costs of crude oil.
Oliver signalled that the sectors of industry which will be most affected by an eventual rise in the price of fuel will be in all transport areas, particularly sea and road; and energy production companies. Any further rise in the cost of air travel for Balearic residents is expected to fuel the debate over better resident discounts on inter-island and domestic flights. The discounts currently stands at 33 percent, but there is huge support for an increase to 50 percent.

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