One side effect of the Russian invasion of Ukraine is the rise in fuel prices, which have skyrocketed over the past few months. Some countries have taken price capping measures and those who live close to the border are enjoying the benefits. People started going to certain places just to fill up their tanks at a lower price.
one. Pump tourism destinations
It is very easy for Swiss residents to travel to neighboring countries, and although they usually do it for recreation, they now have a more practical reason for traveling. Euronews reports that more and more Genevans are crossing the border into France to fill up on fuel.
In Geneva, the cost of a liter of gas is about 2.2 Swiss francs (2.30 euros), while in the French region of Haute-Savoie, the price is only 1.80 euros. The best fuel price and favorable franc/euro exchange rate make the trip worthwhile.
France is not the only destination for pump tourism. Euronews reports that Luxembourg is “famous for cheap fuel” and its location in the center of Europe encourages travelers to plan a stop in the small country to top up their tanks.
This is due to the ideal location in the center of Europe, as well as favorable fuel prices.
Daniel Calderon, manager of a Shell gas station in Berchem, told AFP.
Luxembourg is also home to the world’s largest Shell filling station in Berchem, located on the A3 highway in the southern part of the country. The gas station’s manager says its location and lower prices have made it even busier than usual this summer, with vacationers and truck drivers stopping by to fill up, and gas station tourists coming in specifically for the purpose.
2. French politicians are unhappy
Several French politicians have expressed dissatisfaction with the influx of Swiss taking advantage of France’s 18 cents per liter fuel concession, arguing that the concession is ultimately funded by French taxpayers. “We absolutely must give priority to the French. We should not help the rich, the Swiss and foreign tourists. It’s so simple,” Loïc Hervé, senator from Haute-Savoie, told the Tribune de Genève newspaper.
On the other hand, Mauro Poggia, a member of the Geneva State Council, noted that the French also take advantage of the proximity of the border in other situations, such as working for Swiss companies to get higher wages and better benefits. He also recalled that before the war, unleaded petrol was cheaper in Switzerland than in France, and “the French also refuel their cars in Geneva before returning home, and this did not bother anyone.” The situation changed after the start of the war, because the Swiss government refused the fuel discount.