Reports of an alleged "imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine" and multiple denials from the Kremlin have raised concerns in the energy sector, as well as further increases in fuel prices.
The price of gasoline had already gone "uphill" lately in Greece and on Monday, motorists found themselves in front of a new price increase, with the price of simple unleaded fuel having touched 2 euros per litre.
For example, a gas station on Giannitson Street in Thessaloniki sells simple unleaded for 1.95 euros per litre, while another gas station in the western part of the city sells for 1.96 euros per litre.
Other gas stations on the east side of the city are selling unleaded fuel for even more money, while some are trying to keep the price close to 1.90 euros in order not to lose their customers.
As for the price of super unleaded, it has already gone over 2 euros and in several gas stations in Thessaloniki, it is sold from 2.044 to 2.095 euros per litre.
Complaints about smuggled fuel
The owners of the gas stations have known since February 12 that the price of gasoline will go up.
As they said to us: "The price is going up because the Americans say that on February 16 there will be... a war in Ukraine!"
The president of the Panhellenic Federation of Gas Traders, Themis Kiourtzis, stated that "since last week the fuel has increased and continues to increase."
As he explained, owners of gas stations who had stocks tried to sell it as cheaply as possible in order to be competitive.
But once their stock is exhausted, and they are supplied with a new quantity at an increased price, they can no longer sell fuel cheaply.
But he mentioned another version, especially for the cases where we still see the price being around 1.85 euros per litre.
"If there was no smuggled fuel, then the majority would sell for over 1.85," he said, adding: "There is a lot of smuggled and stolen fuel."
"There is a lot of delinquency in the market," Kiourtzis continued.
He added that the legal ones are unable to sell cheaply "since the refinery sells at 1.75 euros per litre."
"The government must intervene with profiteering"
But how can the price of gasoline increase based on rumours and not facts?
The associate professor of the Department of Economics of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Grigoris Zarotiadis, attributed the increase in fuel to speculation.
"It's speculation and pure exploitation," he said. "That is, the cartels of the oil producers and the gas station owners are taking advantage of their oligopolistic position, watch the news at night and raise the price."
"It is obvious that this crisis can clearly affect the fuel, but it does not manage to raise the price of gasoline within a few hours," Zarotiadis said.
He believes that the only barrier to speculative behaviour is for the government to "intervene in such cases of scandal."
"The government must intervene and set a ceiling or limit," he added.
"The logic 'I leave everything to the smooth operation of the market' is so wrong in the end, because in the market we are not all equal in terms of possibilities and options.
"So what should consumers do? Do not buy gasoline?
"What is the consumer choice?
"I want to say that these are the conditions in which the phenomena of scandal are real.
"A government should not close its eyes but should instead make regulatory interventions and reduce or even ban them (the phenomena of scandal)," he stressed.
He added that the jump in the price of gasoline "will have an impact on the rest of the market operation."
"For example, in the cost of agricultural products, in transport and elsewhere," the associate professor concluded.