NewsWorldLong queues at Catania, Italy gas stations amid fears of soaring gasoline...

Long queues at Catania, Italy gas stations amid fears of soaring gasoline price

Catania motorists on Friday (March 11) evening rushed to fill up their cars creating long queues after a rapid spike in global crude prices caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The war in Ukraine led drivers to line up outside the Sicilian city’s gas stations after the United States and allies have led sanctions against Russia, a major oil producer, designed to cripple its economy.

Already struggling with rising living costs, Italians now face an even deeper hit to their livelihoods as the conflict in Ukraine pushed fuel and food prices higher and threatens to undermine a fragile economic recovery.

The surging price of crude oil on world markets has led to the biggest ever weekly jump in gasoline prices at some service stations in Italy, pushing them in some cases above 2.61 euros for a litre of Diesel fuel.

The fear now is that this will hit consumer spending even harder, especially among the low-income households who fared worst during pandemic lockdowns in which they did not benefit from furloughs or faced other hits to their livelihoods.

In light of the conflict, ECB policymakers are tussling over whether to pause moves to wind down the unprecedented amount of stimulus they have used to prop up the euro economy over the past decade – a period in which the euro zone slowly emerged from a global recession only to land up in a new pandemic-era collapse.

Italian energy group Eni on Wednesday (March 9) has suspended the purchase of oil from Russia following its invasion of Ukraine and is watching developments closely with regards to gas procurement.

Western sanctions imposed after the invasion of Ukraine have already cut off Russia from international trade and financial markets. Until this week its energy exports were exempted from the sanctions regime.

(Reuters)

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