The confusion over the minimum services and the shortage of most of the gas stations have marked the first day of "energy crisis" decreed in Portugal, where the strike of fuel transporters has upset the plans of drivers, planes and even taxis and buses.
The queues of more than half an hour to refuel the vehicles have been repeated since the first hour in the country, and at around noon more than 2,700 of the total of 3,068 stations available had a lack of diesel, gasoline or both.
The most affected fuel has been diesel, of which there is no reserve in 1,500 service stations throughout the country.
Given the situation, several Portuguese have chosen to cross the border and load the tank in neighboring Spain to ensure they will not have problems in their displacements of Holy Week.
The stoppage of fuel transporters lives on Wednesday its third consecutive day and the first under the alert for energy crisis, a measure decreed last night by the Government to try to alleviate the effects of the strike, which already complicated the activity of airports on Tuesday of Lisbon and Faro (south) and road traffic.
The alert allows the military and security forces to be mobilized to guarantee the supply of fuel and obliges drivers of heavy vehicles to help with the transportation of fuel if requested by the authorities.
In addition, it gives priority to the emergency and security forces at the time of refueling.
Along with these measures, previously the Executive had approved the so-called "civil requisition", a legal instrument that allows to shield some minimum operations to guarantee the operation of the essential services.
The established minimums were a normal supply for hospitals, air bases, firefighters, ports and airports, while the demand for gas stations would be satisfied up to 40%, although only in the metropolitan area of Lisbon and Oporto.
However, the government of socialist António Costa does not rule out extending these minimum services to the rest of the country, as he advanced today in a tense parliamentary debate marked by the energy crisis.
While waiting for this extension to be official, confusion has spread over the minimum services that should have prevailed in Lisbon and Oporto today, especially after the Portuguese Association of Petrol Companies (Apetro) has denounced that it is not being supplied. promised at the service stations.
It has also generated doubts about the promised supply of airports, since at least sixteen planes departing from Lisbon and Faro have landed on Wednesday at the airfield in the Spanish city of Seville to load fuel when several airport facilities left by the strike were left empty.
It is foreseen that during this Holy Wednesday, another eight planes will take off in Seville with takeoff at airports in Portugal, according to Efe sources from Aena de Sevilla.
Meanwhile, public transport is also beginning to be affected, with bus companies in southern Lisbon reducing their routes to save fuel and paralyzed taxis in the southern Algarve region.
The strike, which started on Monday and will continue indefinitely, is called by the National Union of Hazardous Goods Transporters, which demands that a specific professional category be created for these workers.
They try to improve their salary conditions, something that the National Association of Road Transporters of Goods (ANTRAM) disagrees with.
For the prime minister, it is "a conflict between private entities, between private companies and drivers," although the president of Portugal, the conservative Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, stressed today that although the conflict is between private "is in question the public interest "