Roads Quiet - Petrol Station Strike Day Two
Along the seafront, the three petrol stations which are wholly owned by petroleum product wholesalers remained open and had long lines of drivers waiting to fill up. Tempers were short, with drivers honking their horns and looking grim. Some cars ran out of petrol on the road, and had to depend on friends to come and fill up their tanks with petrol in plastic containers. One petrol station in Ziggi village could only offer a car wash - they had run out of petrol.
Meanwhile, minister of commerce Antonis Paschalides called on POVEK, the union which represents the petrol stations, to come to the negotiating table for dialogue. POVEK is currently in a meeting of its 280 members to decide whether the eight-day strike will continue or whether they will accept the government' decree to cap petrol prices at pre-defined limits.
45 petrol stations were open yesterday on the first day of the strike, and many of them ran out of supplies after thousands of drivers filled up their tanks.
On Monday, the ministry of commerce issued an unprecedented order capping petrol retail prices for 95-octane at 95 cents per litre, and 97 cents per litre for 98-octane petrol (VAT-inclusive). Diesel prices are set at 87.5 cents per litre. The move is the latest in an ongoing battle between the government and petroleum supply companies. Late last year, the government imposed a 43 million euro fine on the petrol companies for price fixing.