Joan Collins PETROL and diesel prices are still rising on the islands as a result of the sharp increases in the price of a barrel of crude oil. Unleaded petrol, both grade 95 and 98, are approaching historic prices, and diesel has for the first time broken the one euro a litre barrier in three service stations on the islands, according to figures published by the national Ministry of Industry and Tourism and confirmed by the Association of Balearic Service Station Owners. This rise in the price of fuel is due to the sharp rise in the cost of a barrel of Brent crude oil which, in the last few days, has stabilised at between 73 and 74 dollars. Diesel is used by almost 50 percent of private cars and more than 80 percent of commercial and transport vehicles, and for this last group the rise has had a significant impact on their finances, especially on fixed company costs. The average price of unleaded grade 95, the most popular grade with private drivers, was yesterday 1.079 euros a litre in the Balearics, while unleaded grade 98 reached an average price of 1.189 euros a litre. The Balearic Confederation of Business Associations (CAEB) described the rise in the price of fuel as “very worrying”. Their President, Josep Oliver, said that the rise in the price of diesel would mean a large rise in fixed costs for industrial and transport companies on the islands. Salvador Servera, the head of the Balearic Federation of Transport Companies, said that the price of diesel accounts for between 20 and 25 percent of the fixed costs of transport companies, both tourist and regular. In fact, the Tourist Transport Group is trying to renegotiate prices with travel agents and tour operators to combat this new rise in their costs.