Swiss motorists have had a nasty shock at petrol stations across the country, where prices have risen by three to four centimes a litre to new record highs. Leading suppliers are now selling a litre of unleaded petrol for between SFr1.40 and SFr1.44.
That is slightly higher than during the early 1980s, when petrol prices hit a high of SFr1.39.
The oil companies say the latest price rise is due to an increase in prices on the market in Rotterdam. This in turn, is due to growing demand for oil, particularly from the United States.
They said the US produces little unleaded petrol, and is supplying the rapidly rising demand by purchasing it on the European market. The oil companies added there was no respite in sight.
They also said the strength of the dollar and the restrictive production policy of OPEC countries was pushing prices up.
However, diesel and heating oil is not affected by the increases.
swissinfo with agencies