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A gas station in Lisbon, August 9, 2019. REUTERS / Rafael Marchante

The fuel strike begins this Monday, August 12 in Portugal. The country is on alert to avoid suspension of the gasoline distribution. This is the second time in less than six months that the fuel shortage is threatening the country.

From our correspondent in Lisbon , Marie-Line Darcy

The Portuguese have anticipated the fuels strike and make provisions for three days. One-third of the 3,000 service stations are dry when considering gasoline and diesel. The strike begins on Monday, August 12, but the standoff between the independent union of dangerous goods drivers and employers has lasted for days.

Negotiations were unsuccessful, they relate to a substantial revaluation of the basic salary of the order of 620 euros currently. A revaluation considered during the first drivers' strike at Easter. The government tried to play the mediators to finally harden the tone.

Prime Minister Antonio Costa himself declared the state of energy crisis last Saturday. This makes it possible to define 320 emergency service stations, where priority vehicles will be able to fill the tanks with 15 liters at a time.

The government says it has two months of reserves, but warned that strong measures will be taken if the minimum services are not respected by the union drivers. There is real concern about the supply of fuel during the most important August holiday week. The strike is decreed for an indefinite period.

" The government is ready to decree the civil requisition in case of non-compliance with the minimum services ," warned Prime Minister Antonio Costa on his Twitter account.

O País tem que ter a noção de que servicios miníos podem mitigar, mas não eliminam os efeitos da greve. E nesse sentido que posso ensure that o @govpt está preparado para decretar a civil requição em caso de incumprimento dos serviços mínimos. pic.twitter.com/Kp3YRM6L5N

António Costa (@antoniocostapm) August 11, 2019