The unstoppable rise in fuel warms the spirits in the transport sector that is considering stopping

The sector affirms that it is the same as at the end of March and cannot continue with the activity. / C7

The liter of fuel has risen two cents in the last week and is now around 1.5 euros in the Canary Islands. The sector assures that "it has eaten" the bonus of 20 cents and demands more measures

Silvia Fernandez

The unstoppable increase that continues to experience the price of fuel in the Canary Islands -
only this week has risen two cents per liter- is heating up the spirits in the transport sector of the islands, which is considering strikes as a way to attract the attention of the administrations.

Gasoline and diesel are this week around 1.5 euros per liter while additive fuels are above 1.6 euros in the Canary Islands.

Two months ago, at the end of March, the sector threatened with a strike that it finally did not celebrate after approving measures at the national level, such as the
bonus of 20 cents per liter of fuelor raise the Government of the Canary Islands the refund of the tax on professional diesel to 99.9% retroactively between March 1 and July 31.

These measures, however, have fallen short due to the constant rise in fuel prices, which has averaged two cents in recent weeks.

The bonus has been eaten by the raises

«The 20 cents of the bonus have been eaten by price increases. We are at the same point as two months ago," he says.
the president of the Federation of Transport Employers (FET), Agustín Espinowhich ensures that the sector is in an "unsustainable" situation.

He considers that the public administrations should get involved and set a "ceiling" on the prices of professional diesel, since the upward escalation of prices does not seem to have an end.

«
The 20 cents have been a trap. Now we are as if there had been no bonus. The Government must set a ceiling on prices so that the sector has peace of mind, "says Espino, who assures that the sector needs fuel for its activity and cannot continue in this situation.

"Either the sector is helped or we are going to have to stop because this
it is unaffordable», indicates, which ensures that truck drivers are losing money going to work.

Greater government involvement

"The Government must get involved with this sector because if we don't we will have to stop," says Espino. As he explains, negotiating contracts today, for example with
the tourism sector for the summer it is being very difficult due to fluctuations in fuel prices.

"If you put it at the current price you can lose money due to the upward escalation of prices and if we put it above the customer asks you and we do not know how far it will go," he says.

In principle, prices are being closed with tour operators until September and pending renegotiation "waiting for what may happen."

At the national level,
carrierswhich staged a break of almost three weeks at the end of March and with serious consequences for other sectors (such as the industrial sector, which had to stop its production),
they are shuffling to stop again.

In the Canary Islands, as Espino points out, that spirit also exists due to the seriousness of the situation.

As indicated, although "everything indicates" that the Government of Spain is going to extend until September the bonus of 20 cents per liter (which in theory ends on June 30), the aid has already fallen short. In addition, it remains to be seen what the Government of the Canary Islands will do with the tax credit on professional diesel beyond July 31.

The general secretary of the FET, José Ángel Hernández, points out that the sector “trusts” these extensions. «
Carriers are waiting», indicates Hernandez.

End of discounts

The extreme situation in which the sector finds itself has been complicated this week after the announcements made by several of the oil companies that operate on the islands to carriers and that further complicate their day to day.

Companies such as Disa, Cepsa and Repsol have substantially reduced discounts that make carriers like the great consumers they are, which is generating great discomfort in the collective.

The companies assure that they have not eliminated the discounts that they applied and that they could reach ten cents per liter but that the rises that the fuel has suffered have eaten them. However, the sector is suspicious and doubts the justification.

Similarly, island carriers have begun to experience that
the price of fuel is cheaper at gas stations than at our own depotsto which the oil companies supply.

Regarding this matter, the secretary of the FET, José Ángel Hernández, is upset by this situation that is difficult to resolve because the service stations do not have the capacity or high pressure pumps to supply large vehicles such as buses and trucks.

“We do not understand how this situation can be taking place,” says Hernández. Some service stations are preparing to be able to provide the service but for now it is not enabled.

The Government of the Canary Islands has not paid a single euro for school transport

Despite the fact that on March 29 the Minister of Education of the Government of the Canary Islands, Manuel Armas, and the Minister of Transport, Sebastián Franquis, committed themselves to the transport sector to take charge of the 13 million owed to them for the CPI updates on school buses (pending since 2012), to date not a single euro has been paid.

Armas promised to pay two million euros imminently and the rest, 11 million, would be paid in installments, but for now no income has been made.

As will be recalled, this agreement was one of the main reasons why the sector decided not to go on strike at the end of March and its non-compliance is now heating up tempers among transport companies. "There is talk of updates for the next course but there is nothing pending and this is one of the main workhorses of the sector," says the secretary general of the Federation of Transport Entrepreneurs (FET), José Ángel Hernández.

The president of the FET, Agustín Espino, is very upset with this breach. In his opinion, the Ministry of Education is taking advantage of the fact that this school year is about to end, but he warns that if there are no subscriptions before September, there will be problems at the start of the next one.

"We are not being listened to and we will have to do something," says Espino, who criticizes the attitude of the councilor Manuela Armas. “It is neither expected nor is it for the work of finding a solution and now it is easy because summer is in between, but this can be complicated for September,” she warns. Espino trusts that the President of the Government, Ángel Víctor Torres, will take action on the matter and act with a sector "that does not deserve this treatment."

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