Monday, March 14, 2011

Freight Haulage Firms Take To The Streets In Fuel Price Protest

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BULGARIA – Yesterday saw an effective yet peaceful campaign launched by the country’s hauliers against the steeply rising price of fuel. Liaising by way of a nation wide Facebook campaign, haulage companies, other freight associated carriers and private car drivers alike are basically on a ‘go slow’ to demonstrate their ire at the cost of keeping the nations wheels turning.

The logistics firms are just topping up continually as opposed to filling their tanks when almost empty, resulting in congestion at the pumps and frustration for garage owners. Customers were insisting on minimum fuel levels then paying in small coin and demanding printed tax receipts for every purchase. Today freight carriers sent trucks to three key locations adjacent to the main highways and the presidential palace between 0900 and 1500 hours, all drivers buying the minimum amount of diesel.

Local press reports say interviews with transport union officials confirm there will not be any blockades on motorways (as happened last month when Greek farmers strangled a Bulgarian border crossing) nor will supplies from refineries be interrupted, saying the main reason for the anger was the fact that the pump price reflected excessive profiteering by wholesalers.

Reports say that the price of fuel is around €0.17c per litre higher before the addition of duty and VAT and that it is the government’s responsibility to ensure prices are lowered to a more acceptable level, particularly in the light of rising food and power prices which the country has recently been subject to, plus the fact that much of the fuel sold in the country is of poor quality whilst eleven other EU countries get premium grades at cheaper pump prices.