Watching Government
Decontrol in Italy

Italian drivers were lined up at the nation's gasoline stations last week, not because of shortages but as an indirect result of deregulation.The government recently announced it would open the Italian gasoline market to competition next June, a year ahead of schedule. It also plans to end waiting periods for opening self-service stations and faster permitting for regular station openings.The government has complained there is too little competition in the retail gasoline market, resulting in nearly identical prices everywhere.Industry Minister Pierluigi Bersani said the Italian gasoline market is the least efficient in Europe, and action is needed to increase market efficiency and red...

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