Tunisia: Long queues in front of gas stations due to a shortage
TUNIS (Reuters) – Tunisian motorists waited several hours outside petrol stations on Tuesday, as the energy minister announced the end of the shortage for Monday.
Many petrol stations began to run out of fuel over the weekend due to lower imports and domestic supply, leading to queues of cars for miles in some places.
Cars were only allowed to refuel at many stations up to 30 dinars (9.27 euros), or about 13 liters.
Tunisia is facing a crisis in its public finances and the influential union, which has sections in the government and national supply sectors, says the state is struggling to pay for imports of goods it sells at subsidized rates.
President Kais Saied, who rules by decree and extended his powers with a new constitution, has blamed speculators and hoarders for the commodity shortages that have hit Tunisia recently. Apart from the fuel shortage, the country has experienced a shortage of food items such as flour, sugar, butter, milk and cooking oil.
“I didn’t go to work today. We have become like refugees in our own country,” said Mohamed Neji, a motorist who had been waiting for an hour and a half outside a petrol station in Tunis.
Tunisia hopes to soon release billions of dollars in aid through an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), although its ability to pass the desired reforms is the subject of doubts, notably a reduction in subsidies, to which opposes the union.
(Report Tarek Amara, written by Angus McDowall, French version Lina Golovnya, edited by Kate Entringer)
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