Barely a week after raising petrol prices, oil companies have announced another increase. The price hike will make petrol more expensive in Switzerland than it has ever been before, with motorists paying up to SFr 1.50 for a litre of unleaded petrol.
Together, the increases mark a five per cent increase in the price of petrol within only eight days.
The oil companies gave the same reasons for the new increase as for last week's rise. They said they were merely passing on a sudden rise in prices on the market in Rotterdam.
The increase was due to the strength of the dollar, they claimed, and to the fact that the United States was buying heavily in Rotterdam to cover its rapidly growing demand in unleaded petrol.
They said that American purchases had helped push the price for a tonne of unleaded petrol in Rotterdam up by $24 to $387.
Oil companies added it was unlikely prices would come down again in the short term, and said they were not making excessive profits from the latest price rises.
Last week, the competition commission opened an inquiry into the companies, on suspicion that they had reached an illegal price-fixing agreement.
swissinfo with agencies