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Germany

Anger at German Fuel Taxes as Petrol Prices Increase

German motorists expressed anger at rising fuel prices Saturday, the start of the Whitsun holiday weekend, while opposition politicians called for a cut in fuel taxes.

A petrol pump leaking euro notes

The price of petrol hit a new high in Germany prompting anger from motorists

German motorists saw the prices for a liter of petrol break through 1.50 euros ($2.30) for the first time, with diesel only marginally cheaper at 1.45 euros.

"It's those people at the top who are spoiling it for the rest of us," a woman motorist who declined to be named told national commercial broadcaster n-tv.

Newspapers carried graphs showing how the price of petrol had risen from 80 cents a liter in 1998 to crash through 1.00 euro in early 2000, 1.20 in 2004 and 1.35 in 2005.

Price on the rise since the end of 2007

While 2006 saw a steady fall to a low of 1.21 euros, since November of that year the course has been steadily upwards.

In a break-down of the price, the MWV mineral oil association said 65 cents of the price went to fuel tax with a further 24 cents taken in value-added tax (VAT).

The product itself cost only 51 cents, while petrol stations were taking just under 10 cents a liter.

Rainer Bruederle, deputy leader of the opposition free-market FDP, blamed the German state. "The real oil sheikhs are in Berlin," he told Saturday's Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper.

German Automobile Association (ADAC) Deputy President Ulrich Klaus Becker called on the government to consider cutting environmental taxes and to increase the tax allowance for traveling to work.

The surge in the petrol price came after oil broke the $125-a-barrel mark on Friday.

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