Fuel monopoly given €175 million in subsidies over two years

According to the latest Enemed accounts tabled in parliament, the government has pumped €175 million into its monopoly fuel company to keep pump prices artificially low.

A copy of the audited accounts for 2021 and 2022, tabled in parliament at the request of PN Energy spokesperson Ryan Callus, shows that while Enemed made a pre-tax profit of €21 million in 2021, it made a profit of €26 million in 2022.

In both cases, however, the profit generated appears to be little more than an accounting exercise since it includes tens of millions in subsidies from taxpayers.

According to the accounts, Finance Minister Clyde Caruana gave Enemed €111 million in subsidies in 2022, followed by a further €64.5 million the following year.

No details have been given on whether the funds were used to cover the difference between the price of petrol and diesel when bought on the international market or for other Enemed expenses.

It is unclear how the subsidies can continue to be justified when the Maltese economy is experiencing higher growth rates than the rest of the EU.

While taxpayers get cheaper fuel at the pump when they fill up their cars, so do the owners of luxury yachts for their fuel-guzzling engines.

In the meantime, Enemed’s administrators, all of whom are government–appointed, appear to have no qualms about spending unnecessary funds on promotion when the company already dominates the market.

One of the latest Enemed campaigns

The Shift has reported how Enemed’s Executive Chairman Kevin Chircop handed out some €2 million in marketing and advertising despite Enemed having practically no competition.

International organisations, including the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission, have warned the government to reduce fuel subsidies. These recommendations have so far been ignored.

                           

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