Portugal declares energy crisis as truckers’ strike cuts fuel supplies – POLITICO

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Fuel truck drivers gather during a strike action at the entrance of Aveiras Fuel Supply Station, Azambuja, Portugal on April 17, 2019 | Mario Cruz/EPA-EFE

Government orders minimum services to keep airports, hospitals open.



LISBON – Portugal declared a national energy crisis Wednesday as a strike by fuel-truck drivers strangled supplies to gas stations, threatening to bring the country to a standstill.

The government ordered truckers to resume deliveries to airports, hospitals and other essential services and called in the security forces to ensure critical infrastructure is kept running.

Drivers from the National Republican Guard were reportedly taking 1 million liters of fuel to Faro airport in the south of the country Wednesday morning.

The government also ordered truckers to maintain services needed to keep the country’s two main oil refineries in operation and insisted “minimal” supplies of at least 40 percent of normal levels had to be maintained at gas stations in Lisbon and the second city of Porto.

“Supply to airports and to the security services is assured,” Prime Minister António Costa told parliament Wednesday. “We can also guarantee respect for the minimum supply of 40 percent at gas stations.”

However, as the strike entered its third day, hundreds of gas…

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