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Petrol reaches record prices

Fraud squad to investigate as petrol prices soar despite drop in price of crude oil

ANTI-FRAUD experts have been asked to investigate as prices at the pumps reach record highs despite dropping prices for crude oil on the world markets.

Unleaded 95 petrol is at an average €1.55, according to government figures, while unleaded 98 is at €1.59.

Both figures are the highest-ever and drivers are paying as much as €1.89 at some service stations in the Paris area.

Despite this the prices of crude oil have been dropping, said to be due to fears over the strength of the American economy. The prices of both American and British standard oil types, West Texas Intermediate and Brent, have seen, over a week, the largest drops ever recorded in terms of actual dollars or pounds.

Economy Minister Christine Lagarde has ordered the government’s anti-fraud office to prepare a report into the disparity, and to show what effects on the pump price should normally follow from such a drop. “The oil firms and distributors pledged to immediately pass on to the customer any drop in the price of fuels,” she said.

Though petrol is up, diesel is down for the third week running, at €1.35 (compared to a record €1.45 in 2008).

Photo: Richard Villalon

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