Government of Meloni Faces First Obstacle: Increase in Gasoline Price

**Meloni’s First Mistake: Government Approves Controversial Fuel Decree Amid Protests**

In the wake of protests from gas stations, Italians, and tensions between governing parties, the Italian government has approved a controversial decree aiming to counteract the rising price of gasoline. The decree, signed by President Sergio Mattarella, has been met with criticism from both the opposition and some members of the majority.

The “fuel decree” seeks to fight alleged “speculation” by gas station owners, according to Prime Minister Mario Draghi. This includes the requirement that each station must display the approved daily average price alongside the price at which the fuel is being sold. Penalties for failing to do so may range between 500 and 6,000 euros.

However, this measure does not contain any immediate measures to reduce fuel prices and Finance Minister Giulio Meloni has adamantly announced there will be no renewal of the 18 cent discount in excise taxes. This discount was introduced by the previous government to help control prices, and costs around 1,000 million euros per month.

In response to criticism from opposition parties and members of his own, Meloni defended his policy: “The gasoline decision is Meloni’s first mistake” said the President of Forza Italia, Silvio Berlusconi, himself an ally of the government. The Prime Minister responded by assuring the public that he “will be governing for the next five years despite opposition and not only.”

The decree also offers a one-time bonus of 60 euros for the purchase of public transport passes, but has greatly reduced the number of people entitled to it – from 35,000 to those with incomes of less than 20,000 euros.

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