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Cyprus petrol stations on strike

February 23, 2010

Well, that seemed to come out of nowhere!  Late Monday, having been out for most of the afternoon, we started to hear rumours that the petrol stations were planning to go on strike.

The story was quickly confirmed, with an expectation that the strike would start early Tuesday or late Monday, depending on the garage or chain.  Having already had dinner and a glass of wine when we first heard the news it was too late to head out that night to find petrol.  This morning, as rumoured,  nearly all the petrol stations on the island have closed.

It is approximately a 50 mile round trip to either Larnaca or Limassol from where we are.  Last night we calculated we had under half a tank of petrol left, perhaps enough for 125 miles or so.  So, two round trips into town, where no more petrol can be bought.  With unfortunate timing we had to make one of those two trips today for a pre-arranged meeting in Larnaca.

The background to the strike is this: apparently the government has decided that petrol prices are too high.  To resolve this they intend to impose a maximum price on petrol for 8 days.  So, for duration of the price cap the petrol stations say they will remain closed.  There’s a definite logic there, but who will blink first?

Possibly this will all be over tomorrow; it is entirely likely that the government will backtrack and renounce their proposed maximum rather than deal with an entire population which relies on its cars.

If not we’ll be housebound for a while; with enough petrol to make just one round trip we can’t risk any long drives until we know that the petrol stations are back to normal once more.

Happily we have a freezer full of food and a good supply of logs :-)

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