- Fuel: Long lines and more than 450 'dry' gas stations at the start of the transporters strike in Portugal
The first day of the indefinite strike of fuel carriers in Portugal has left hundreds of Portuguese gas stations without fuel and concluded with members of the Republican National Guard (GNR) and the Public Security Police (PSP) taking control of the trucks paralyzed In the late afternoon, the government of the socialist António Costa has decreed the civil requisition of the transporters, a legal measure that will force the strikers to go to their jobs or face prison sentences for disobedience .
Throughout Monday, long lines have been registered at the Portuguese gas stations, where drivers have only been able to acquire a maximum of 15 liters of fuel per car, as established under the rules of the state of emergency decreed by the Executive last Friday, which remains in effect until August 21. In large cities such as Lisbon and Porto, several supply stations have become dry , and similar situations have also been recorded in the tourist region of the Algarve, where at least 15 emergency supply network posts ran out of fuel, and from where Many have gone to neighboring Spain to refuel. In cities like Ayamonte, there was a notable increase in the number of cars with Portuguese license plates that stopped at the local gas stations.
From the first hours of the strike there were indications that the minimum services decreed by the Government were not being met , which ordered a 100% supply for the "priority sectors" - which include ports, airports, hospitals, firefighters and security forces of the Portuguese State, of 75% for public transport, and 50% for general citizenship. The carriers had already claimed that the minimums were abusive, and this morning they refused to comply with them alleging that the break had been sabotaged by the employer.
In addition to the failures in the supply of commercial gas stations, the pace of supply at the Humberto Delgado Airport in Lisbon was also "insufficient", apparently carried out "at levels well below those stipulated by minimum services," according to the airport authority. ANA. Due to the lack of fuel, it was decided to ration the supply of the planes that landed at the facilities in the Portuguese capital during the second half of the day.
Although Prime Minister António Costa initially claimed that the strike was taking place with "enormous civility and normality," in the middle of the afternoon he had to acknowledge that the strikers were not complying with the agreement . After meeting with the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the head of the Government announced that he had given the green light to the mobilization of law enforcement to unlock the strike, which threatens to sow chaos in the neighboring country in full High season of summer tourism.
The prime minister also advanced that his Executive prepared the civil requisition of striking carriers during the celebration of a virtual Council of Ministers this afternoon. "This morning the civil requisition was manifestly unnecessary," Costa said, "but we have already ordered that the transport of the goods begin to Serb by the GNR and the PSP, and the military of the Armed Forces are already prepositioned to be used if the civil requisition is approved. "
The prime minister again asked that the parties involved in the labor dispute "seize the opportunity to negotiate what they have to negotiate." The transporters - who already carried out a strike with a similar impact last April - demand that the employer, Antram, increase the wages of workers in the sector.
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