Is oil really to blame for increasing prices?

Recently I’ve had to do some research into the increasing cost of living in Spain. At the beginning of this year, there were significant rises in bills, utilities and foodstuffs here. Housing in Spain’s major cities is now already some of those most expensive in Europe and so Spain is no longer quite the bargain destination is used to be when it had the peseta. Whatsmore, wages have not risen anyway close to corresponding increases in the cost of living and some consumer groups are predicting that Spain could soon suffer the same sort of housing crisis that the US is currently suffering.

It seems that most of the recent price increases have been blamed on the increasing price of oil that has now reached over $100 a barrel. Others meanwhile blame it on the introduction of the Euro whilst others on decreasing EU subsidies or the government’s failure to control inflation and open-up the economy.

I know that other countries, such as the UK, have recently experienced big increases in bills and utilities and the oil theory has been blamed there too. Do you think the cost of living is going up dramatically in your country? And is this a clear sign of the oil crisis in Iraq finally hitting home economically or is it just a bunch of Bilderbergers sat in a darkened room with their calculators and cigars deciding what price fixing schemes they can come up with this year?

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7 thoughts on “Is oil really to blame for increasing prices?

  1. I blame Zapatero – he’s responsible for everything else that happens so it follows really.

  2. DId you see (hear) the CEO of Repsol YPF celebrating that such company made a record profit this year (32% over last years) because of the over 100$ barrel? He was static with happiness man…!!

  3. In the UK the recent increases are largely because of the weather. Last summer we had floods and cold, meaning there were massive crop failures. It’s affected prices for almost all basic foods, which have knock-on effects further down the chain, and there’s even talk it could push the cost of a pint of beer up by 50%. O, and Jamie Oliver banging on about the poor little Chicky-Wickens and the forthcoming ban on battery farming probably isn’t going to help either.

  4. Danny, that’s interesting about Repsol. I wonder why they’ve felt such an urgent need to increase petrol prices in light of those healthy profits 😉 It’s a bit like Nokia moving one of their biggest plants from Germany to Eastern Europe in light of massive profits:http://www.nicholasmead.com/2008/01/nokia-disconnecting-people.htmlMichael, those are some good points about the UK economy I never considered. In Spain, the problem is with drought and there were bad crop failures a few years back but most of the water shortages here are blamed on farmers that flood their fields – exactly the opposite problem of British farmers but I guess it will undoubtadly affect prices.As for Jamie Oliver, I am for the banning of battery Chicky-Wickens even though I’ve just bought two chicken breasts (I’m trying not to but it’s hard). I mean even if you don’t oppose it on moral grounds, mass industrial farming like that leads to things like Bird Flu, Foot in Mouth etc.I don’t however agree with Morrissey’s opinion in his interview with “I’m worth a million times more than a BBC journalist” Jonafon Woss that meat “doesn’t even taste nice”. That’s exactly the problem – it does otherwise I probably would have given it up by now.

  5. O come on – they’re only bloody chickens. They’re idiots and they taste nice. Who cares if they’re all crammed in a wee bit too tight? It probably keeps them warm on these cold winter nights. Plus, I’d question your science about intensive farming being any more responsible for bird flu or foot and mouth than slightly less intensive methods.It’s a sign of an advanced society when it can produce the things it needs effeciently, rather than leaving it to chance. It’s the same with food and pop music.

  6. I’d like to see you say that to a chicken’s face. As regards intensive farming being largely responsible for Bird Flu. there’s an interesting piece on it in the Guardian below. I agree however that some pop stars may benefit from being battery farmed for a while:http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2006/jun/07/health.lifeandhealth1“H5N1 is essentially a problem of industrial poultry practices. Its epicentre is the factory farms of China and south-east Asia. Although wild birds can carry the disease, at least for short distances, [the main infection] route is the highly self-regulated transnational poultry industry, which sends its products and wastes around the world through a multitude of channels.”

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