Spain hits the road to get out of the pandemic tunnel

Traffic at a Madrid exit, in a file image. (Photo: Europa Press via .)

He is probably one of the millions of drivers who will hit the road this Friday to escape and enjoy a well-deserved rest. He has not chosen just any day: the General Directorate of Traffic (DGT) gives the green light at 3:00 p.m. to the first major operation that came out of the summer.

This year the Spanish have three months ahead of them much more normal than those of 2020, when the pandemic was still a nightmare and the country was semi-constrained by restrictions. 365 days later, mobility is 100% allowed and nightlife has the “open” sign. A whole source of light at the end of the tunnel.

Perhaps that is why Traffic has planned 4.4 million trips just this weekend and 43.3 million for the entire month. And that is already a good thermometer of pre-pandemic normality, because last year, for example, the DGT did not make any forecast regarding the 91 million that were in 2019.

The problem is that this year the exit operation comes with skyrocketing fuel prices. That explains why, according to a Mastercard study cited by the . agency, gasoline spending has already exceeded pre-school levels by 155% and has increased more than 50% in the last year alone.

The rise in the price of fuel is leading many Spaniards to opt for the shared car

A liter of gasoline is charged at 1.38 euros on average, while diesel costs 1.25 euros. Thus, filling the tank is between 20% and 21% more expensive than a year ago, when the de-escalation process had concluded and mobility was beginning to regain. But not only is it more expensive than a year ago, it is also almost 4.5 euros more expensive on average than in 2019 if the car is gasoline and 2.86 euros more expensive if it is diesel according to data from the Oil Bulletin of the European Union .

The rise in the price of c …

This article originally appeared on The HuffPost and has been updated.

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