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Forecasts for hot autumn for carriers and railway workers ... but there will be petrol at least!

15 September 2010 / 14:09:55  GRReporter
2228 reads

Carriers stopped the trucks and parked them on highways, railway workers decided to stop the trains for a few hours the next week, and many petrol stations closed because of the low ceiling prices the government imposed.

In short, this the situation on the roads of Greece this week. Railway workers decided to fight the government and to insist on the bill withdrawal, preparing hourly strikes the next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. They threatened the government that they will go on an indefinite strike as soon as the bill on the state railway privatization came to vote.

Carriers brought trucks and tanks to the Athens-Lamia and Athens-Corinth highways and to the ring road in Thessaloniki for the third consecutive day. According to information from the police, the trucks do not hinder the movement of other vehicles. Their representatives are expected to submit to a parliamentary commission their views on the draft on their profession liberalization against which they protest.

Yesterday the drivers decided to gradually stop all trucks, while tank drivers appeared to be more easy-going. They promised they will not leave Greece without fuel. "We continue to supply large consumers as ports, airports and hospitals that can not be served by private tankers which are not impeded in supplying fuel stations," said George Tsamos, the head of the truckers’ union for the Ethnos Newspaper.

At the same time, the ministry considers a backup plan which will allow private drivers to implement state transportation. The Ministry of Infrastructure has decided not to surrender and to submit the bill for voting. Yesterday it did not accept the carriers request to extend the transition period for the full liberalization of the profession from three to five years neither not to depreciate the value of their licenses at the end of the transitional period and to keep 35% of it. At today's meeting with the committee in the parliament the drivers will request written confirmation that three amendments will be executed. They have been agreed with the Deputy Minister and are related to pensions, taxation and their integration into the national strategic framework (ESPA) and in the small companies guaranteeing fund.

The panic about the fuel crisis has made the owners of petrol stations speculate by increasing the prices. This forced the government to determine a ceiling on the maximum price of petrol. It turned out that the owners of petrol stations buy fuel at high prices and the price ceiling force them to sell without a profit. So, 350 of a total of 1100 stations in the capital closed and 50% of the stations in Crete said they "can not buy expensive and sell cheaper."

Owners of petrol stations request from the government to allow them to increase the price of petrol by two euros. They explained that the current price (€ 1.473 for regular unleaded and € 1.701 for super unleaded) makes them operate at a loss in most of the cases. Otherwise, the Federation of station owners required to impose a ceiling on the wholesale petrol price, ie on the fuel companies so as the likely losses to be divided equally. The Ministry will probably satisfy this request not to face closed petrol stations. When the situation gets to its normal, the price ceiling will be removed. At the same time, the penalties for the petrol stations owners that did not comply with the regulation proved really strict. In this case – a private owner in an Athenian neighbourhood sold petrol at a 10 cents higher price. He was arrested and will be sentenced tomorrow.  

Ta Nea Newspaper reported what is the benefit of each ring of the petrol chain. Taxes for one litre of unleaded gasoline are 65.47%, the price of the refinery is 29.5%, the potential profit for the companies is 4.2% and it is 1.7% for the stations.  

It is an interesting fact the Greece is among the European countries with the largest number of petrol stations – more than 8000. There is the same number of petrol stations in Spain where the population is four times more. This fact in itself is a factor of price increase in neighbourhoods and areas where customers are not enough to guarantee that the stations will be profitable.


Tags: News
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