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The British government asks the army to prepare to help due to a shortage of gasoline

The fuel shortage in the United Kingdom it was aggravated this weekend because of the “purchases motivated by panic”, so the government asked the army on Monday to prepare to help alleviate the lack of transporters.

“A limited number of military tanker drivers must be ready to intervene and deploy if necessary to stabilize the fuel supply,” the Energy Ministry said in a statement late Monday.

This weekend long lines were formed in front of many petrol stations, especially in large cities and in the capital, London.

On Monday, around 30% of the service stations of the giant BP were being affected by fuel shortages.

“One of our members received a container at noon and by the end of the afternoon it had completely disappeared” in people’s vehicles, Brian Madderson, president of the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA), the British petrol station association, told the BBC.

The tabloid The Sun quoted a medical assistant who had to go to three gas stations and wait a long time. “Now I am late to visit my patients, who need me for their meals and medicines ”, the health professional declared to the newspaper, crying.

The increase in demand for gasoline led the PRA to warn that up to two-thirds of its members, some 5,500 independent gas stations of the 8,000 in the country, had very little fuel on Sunday and that the rest “They were almost without anything.”

In recent days, despite the government’s attempts to reassure the population, crowds of citizens have rushed to the gas stations, fearful that the fuel runs out, seeing that the stores are also short of agri-food products.

The situation is reminiscent of the 1970s, when the energy crisis forced fuel to be rationed and the work week reduced to three days. About ten years ago, protests against the high price of gasoline also caused a blockade of refineries and paralyzed activity in the country for weeks.

Provisional visas

The shortage is mainly due to the lack of carriers, so the British Executive decided on Saturday to amend its post-Brexit immigration policy and grant up to 10,500 provisional work visas, lasting three months.

Those permits should alleviate the lack of truck drivers and staff in key sectors of the British economy, such as poultry farming.

The Minister of Companies and Energy, Kwasi Kwarteng, indicated on Sunday, in a statement, that he had temporarily exempted the fuel distributors sector from the competition rules, so that they can supply as a priority to the areas that need it most. .

On Sky News, Madderson blamed this panic move on the “leaking of a confidential BP report during a government meeting,” which “was released on Wednesday” and followed “by panic-motivated purchases on Thursday, Friday. , on Saturday and yesterday ”.

Regarding whether the call for army drivers could improve the situation, Madderson was cautious.

“It is not as easy as you think, because truck drivers are highly specialized” and tanker trucks transport a “highly flammable liquid throughout the country”, that requires proper loading and unloading procedures.

On the other hand, Madderson stressed that, because of the pandemic, many people were not able to obtain a truck driving license and that the shortage of transporters also affects continental Europe.

All in all, the person in charge hopes that the problem will be solved at least in part “for the weekend”, he said.



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