The “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” (FAZ) estimates on Thursday (January 13, 2021) that “German customs officials will soon observe drivers in the region bordering Poland more closely”. “Because with the reduction of VAT in Poland from February 1, refueling at the neighbors will be more advantageous” – notes the German daily, adding that thanks to the reduction of VAT on fuel from 23 to 8 percent, gasoline will be converted into about 15 cents per liter. In order to prevent “fuel tourism”, you can additionally bring up to 10 liters of petrol in canisters. “FAZ” also informs about a reduction of up to 9 percent in VAT on food, gas and fertilizers and writes that the entire package, worth EUR 1.5 billion, is to ease the burdens for Polish citizens related to high energy costs, which are severe for the whole of Europe .
The German daily cites calculations by the Institute of German Economy IW in Cologne, according to which Bulgarians will pay the most for energy. A family of three in Bulgaria will spend an average of a quarter of their total household income on electricity, gas and petrol per month. Greece and Hungary are second on the list, where these expenses will consume an average of 20 percent of household budgets. In Germany, on the other hand, they will amount to an average of 9 percent.
Breach of EU rules?
The economic daily Handelsblatt also writes about the decision of the Polish government. “The plan of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki is called the 2.0 anti-inflationary shield, which is to protect residents against constantly rising inflation,” writes the newspaper discussing the government’s plans. As he adds, “it is spicy that Morawiecki’s plan may turn out to be another violation of EU rules. The European Commission has not yet allowed a zero tax on electricity and gas. Morawiecki, who belongs to the ruling national-populist PiS party, stated that 80 percent of the price increases in Poland are caused by external factors, such as Russia’s manipulation of the gas price, ‘dogmatic EU climate policy’ and growing industrial demand, “Handelsblatt writes.
He notes that Fatih Birol, the head of the International Energy Agency, accused Russia of the first time that it was responsible for the rise in gas prices.
Hope for an election victory
“Polish economists assumed a slowdown in price growth in December, but the reality again did not confirm these assumptions. At the same time, inflation is growing alarmingly fast “- comments” Handelsblatt “on the latest data from Poland. And he adds that the other side of the coin is another interest rate hike.
“The zero-VAT strategy is a continuation of the policy of the national-populist PiS, consisting in relieving weaker social groups by increasing social benefits. At the same time, for the first time since the breakthrough in Poland, taxes for entrepreneurs are partially significantly increased. PiS hopes to win the elections again next year thanks to this strategy. So far, however, he is losing more and more in the polls, because the escalating dispute between Warsaw and Brussels scares off many Poles, “Handelsblatt assesses.”
The article comes from the Deutsche Welle website