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Gas Station Owners Threaten to Strike, Set Own Prices

Feb 06

Gas Station Owners Threaten to Strike, Set Own Prices

The syndicate of gas station owners on Wednesday threatened to stage a new strike or issue their own price lists if the Energy Ministry does not distribute the losses resulting from the dollar shortage crisis in a fairer manner.

They described the prices list issued this week by the ministry as a “stab in the back.”

Announcing that they will stage a symbolic sit-in Friday outside the ministry, the owners said they are “paying the price for authorities’ inaction.”

“We are being robbed and we have remained silent in order to reach a peaceful solution but this has not happened,” a spokesman said.

He also urged a probe into alleged discrepancies in the numbers issued Wednesday by the Energy Ministry, noting that Prime Minister Hassan Diab has promised them to resolve their problem once the government wins parliament’s confidence.

Lebanon’s gas stations have staged several strikes in recent months to demand a higher margin of profit.

On September 30, the central bank said it would facilitate access to dollars for importers of petroleum products, wheat and medicine.

The price of the dollar has dropped 40 percent on the black market after it was stable at 1,507 pounds to the dollar since 1997.

naharnet