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When Americans stationed in Spain went to bed Monday night, gas and diesel prices at Navy Exchange filling stations were $3.349, what they’d been since December. But it was too good to last. They woke up Tuesday to $4.349 for gas and diesel.

"A dollar more, that’s a pretty big hike," said Martin Gee, who works at Rota’s outdoor recreation. He wasn’t distressed, though, noting that the jump brought Rota more in line with prices at other U.S. bases in Europe. "I think we’ve been having a pretty good deal for quite a while," he said, alluding to what had been the cheapest fuel in Europe.

Now it’s back to reality.

In Germany and the United Kingdom, Army and Air Force Exchange Service gas prices will jump a little more than a penny Saturday, while diesel drops a fraction of a cent. In the Netherlands, prices climb between 8.4 cents and 13.4 cents a gallon, and in Italy NEX prices are up at least 34 cents — enough to raise eyebrows, but nothing compared to Rota. A billboard near Rota’s base chapel warned of the $1 overnight price jump.

"Everybody that I talked to said, ‘Hey, you know, you’d better go fill up, it’s getting ready to go up,’ " Gee said. "We made sure we were in good shape before the hike to last for as long as we can."

The rising price of crude is the main instigator in NEX’s price spikes in Spain, where fuel is supplied through fixed-price contracts managed by the Defense Energy Support Center. The contracts allow for price adjustments.

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