MADRID – Due to shortages caused by the transport strike, more and more gas stations in Spain are forced to close their doors. The supply problems mainly affect self-service filling stations.
The warning comes from the National Association of Self-Service Gas Stations (AESAE) in the newspaper La Vanguardia. Wednesday marks the tenth day of the indefinite strike for hauliers demanding improvements in working conditions and demonstrating against the rise in fuel prices. The effects of thousands of truck drivers who have stopped working are starting to be felt everywhere.
So far, the food sector has been one of the hardest hit. Fewer products are delivered on wholesale markets and consumers are increasingly faced with empty shelves in supermarkets. There is a particular shortage of fresh products such as vegetables, fruit, and fish, but also dairy products. For fear of scarcity, consumers are stocking up on products that are available. Now a new sector is joining the crisis: that of petrol stations.
Areas of Spain with the most problems
The association clarifies that the situation can differ considerably from region to region. At the moment, the biggest concerns are about the regions of Andalucia, Murcia, and Valencia. However, AESAE added that if this continues there will be “an unprecedented crisis” across Spain.
The company Plenoil, which operates dozens of automated filling stations in Spain, denounced “the great difficulties” it has been experiencing in recent days in filling up normally at some of its stations.
Closed due to fuel shortages
In fact, according to a statement from the company, it had to “temporarily close” some of its supply points in Avilés, Ciudad Real, Albacete, and the Murcia region on Sunday due to fuel shortages. Plenoil stated that it would use “all means at their disposal” “to restore supplies to these filling stations in the shortest possible time”.
What about traditional gas stations?
However, this shortage situation is not the same for all types of filling stations. Traditional gas stations (with staff) have assured on Tuesday that they will not have any supply problems. On that basis, they called on consumers to “peace and calm down”.
The Spanish Confederation of Gas Station Entrepreneurs (CEES) has assured the EFE news agency that their stations receive normal fuel. Repsol says they have had no problems with the fuel supply so far.
“We don’t have these issues at our petrol stations because we’ve been in the industry for a long time. We’ve faced similar situations in the past. Based on that, we’ve done our homework by talking to our suppliers, administration, and the police about it. guaranteeing the supply of fuels”. At CEES, they add that they regret the situation at automatic filling stations.
BP: “Situation in traffic” could lead to shortages
Sources at BP explain that their carriers are “working 100%”. However, the strike does affect the traffic situation. Blockages or slow-moving convoys could lead to a lack of supplies at some BP outlets across Spain. This could continue or even worsen in the coming days, as no one knows how long the strike will last.
AESAE understands the strike
AESAE states that “in the context of the inflation we experience”, with prices that break daily records, “it mainly hurts the self-employed, small entrepreneurs and the end consumer”.
The unmanned gas stations association also points out that “since the energy crisis began, the demand for our stations has increased by 20%. This is partly because our partners have given up their profit margin to minimise the effects of these increases for consumers.”
Solution urgently needed
AESAE asks the parties involved to seek an “immediate” solution to the conflict. Every day that goes by harms the citizen more.
In general, unmanned petrol stations and those of supermarket chains offer the cheapest prices. According to the OCU, Repsol, Cepsa or BP are the most expensive. The cheapest fuel is available at GasExpress, Petroprix, BonÀrea, GMOil, Alcampo, or E Leclerc.
Potentially devastating consequences for the Spanish population
The government has already announced on March 29 that it will cut the price of petrol, electricity, and gas to lower costs for Spaniards. Nevertheless, AESAE recommends Madrid not wait that long. “Because waiting until the end of the month could have devastating consequences for the Spanish population.”