Tanker drivers defy threat of arrest

Drivers ignore “minimum service” requirements

Fuel tankerThe BBC reported yesterday three days into a strike, fuel truck drivers in Portugal have rejected the emergency government decree requiring them to fulfil minimum services or face arrest or even jail. The “minimum services” decree includes maintaining fuel supplies to airports – obviously important in the case of Madeira and the Azores, who are critically dependent on their links to Lisbon principally, and Porto to a lesser extent.

“No-one will respect the minimum service or civil requisition”, said a union spokesman. Strikers reacted angrily after proceedings began against 14 drivers who did not comply with the decree. The government is trying to stop the strike hitting key tourist areas. Officials are particularly keen to protect Lisbon airport and the southern Algarve coastal region and the military and police have been drafted in to help move fuel stocks to areas that are running dry.

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