The price of diesel fuel in Italy will climb nearly 50 cents a gallon when the new coupon price comes out on Saturday.

At the beginning of December, a 100-liter booklet of diesel will jump to $105 from $92, an increase of 13 cents a liter, or 49.2 cents a gallon.

A 100-liter booklet for unleaded gasoline will now cost $99, a $7 jump from the November price. That works out to 26.5 cents a gallon.

According to Bart Di Muccio, manager of the Tax-Free Office, which oversees the program, the price increase was unavoidable.

“We’ve tried to keep the price down, but due to the industrial cost of oil and the euro conversion rate, we had no choice. There’s no profit whatsoever, this is a break-even price,” Di Muccio said.

Predictably, Americans stationed in Italy aren’t pleased with the increase.

Many civilians and servicemembers make an almost 50-mile round trip commuting from the Gricignano Support Site to Capodichino on a daily basis.

“With gas prices going up that much, we will have to take the shuttle bus more often,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Samir Hejab. “This (increase) might also impact our plans for the holiday. It might be cheaper to fly than drive.”

Marilyn Ferguson, who works at the Naval Branch Health Clinic, Capodichino, agreed.

“I’m not happy. The dollar isn’t worth much here. It’s inconvenient. We pay more for products and services, but we receive less money.”

Although the increase might seem significant, the gas coupons are still cheaper than buying fuel on the local economy.

Based on the new prices, gasoline will cost about $3.74 a gallon when purchased with fuel coupons. That’s still some $3 less than what Italian motorists are paying to fill up at the pumps.

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