Germany is late with the tank discount. Ideally, it would have taken advantage of this and learned from the experience of EU partners.

The next three largest economies pay a subsidy per liter directly at the filling station: France 15 cents, Italy 30.5 cents, Spain 25 cents. This is transparent. And effective.

Petrol stations in Spain show the liter price without subsidy, currently around 1.47 euros per liter. This enables a comparison to the pre-war level.

The deduction is made at the checkout. The customer receives a receipt with both amounts. He pays 53.68 euros for 44 liters instead of the 64.68 euros that would have been without the discount, and he is happily reminded of how the state is alleviating the pain of inflation.

Why doesn’t Germany imitate what works elsewhere? Why an overly complex special way with the reduction of various tax components and different discounts for petrol and diesel, which hardly any citizen can understand?

Now follows a lamentation about windfall gains, risks and other problems with the German discount model. Those would have been avoidable.

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case. The willingness to learn from other Europeans is not very pronounced in Germany. On the other hand, there seems to be a great tendency to perfect a model until it no longer works in practice.