The National Hazardous Materials Drivers' Union (SNMMP) launched an indefinite strike on Monday, August 12, causing fuel shortages across the country. According to media reports, by Monday afternoon (local time), 35 percent of filling stations were either completely out of fuel or partially dry. Shortages were particularly high around Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS). On Friday, August 9, the government declared an energy crisis, which requires minimum service be provided to ports, hospitals, airports, and other priority areas. However, drivers have been accused of failing to provide minimum service, including to LIS. Fuel rationing for public drivers is also in effect as of Monday, restricting individuals to filling a maximum of 15 liters (4 gallons) of petrol or diesel per visit at designated stations and 25 liters (6.6 gallons) at all other stations.
Fuel shortages and associated transportation disruptions are expected to continue for the duration of the strike. Demonstrations by the truck drivers are also possible in the coming days; however, no protests have been officially announced as of Monday.
Fuel tanker drivers decided to go on strike after negotiations for increased pay with the ANTRAM employer association failed. A previous strike was also launched on April 15, causing nationwide disruptions.
Individuals Portugal or those traveling through LIS are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all public demonstrations as a precaution, and anticipate localized transportation and business disruptions, and a heightened security presence near all protest sites. In the event of fuel shortages, individuals are advised to fill up their vehicles whenever gasoline is available, to ensure sufficient fuel reserves before all long journeys, and to expect longer waiting times at gas stations.
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