In a move to pump up diesel prices, the European Commission has proposed raising minimum duties from the year 2012. The aim is to stop trucks making big detours to tank up in countries with lower rates.
Brussels cites data showing the practice contributes significantly to carbon dioxide and other pollution. It also means losses for finance ministries where the rate is higher. The EU tax proposal is to harmonize the minimum level of excise duties at 359 euros per 1,000 litres of diesel within five years.
That is 19 percent more than the current 302-euros. This would be bumped to 380 euros in 2014, and would mean rises in 21 EU states. But for any common decision on taxation, first all the bloc’s members must agree, and the subject is fuelling hot debate.