Egypt Independent

Drivers angry over diesel shortfall



A new diesel crisis has erupted throughout Egypt recently, sparking a wave of anger from drivers who say they waste hours every day in long gas station queues.
 
"I don’t' know whether there is a real crisis or it's fabricated, because sometimes stations store diesel to sell it for black markets or raise its price,"  Moustafa taxi driver told Egypt Independent.
 
He continued, "I've been waiting to fill my tank for one and half hours in a long line of taxis and microbuses that were waiting to fill too, and then I filled only 10 liters because there was no enough diesel."
 
A microbus driver, who runs a route from Cairo to Tanta, said the crisis is exacerbating in Cairo to the point where he often must wait in very long queues to fill his tank, oftening preventing him from working the full day.
 
"The crisis is affecting especially the big trucks, as sometimes gas stations give priority to filling taxis and microbuses instead," he said.
 
"We do really give up much of our life in queues: one for the gas cylinders, one for bread, one for getting our subsidized supply and other queues in our daily life,"  a microbus driver told Itfarag online website.
 
Meanwhile, Petroleum Minister Sherif Ismail said the government is pumping more diesel fuel into the market to refute rumors about shortages of the fuel. 
 
This came at a meeting with Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb on Tuesday in the presence of the ministers of trade and industry, planning, supply, electricity, finance, international cooperation and investment to discuss the problem.
 
While, Wahid Abu Zayd the President of the General Union of Petroleum Materials reported there was a 50 percent deficit in diesel, especially in the southern provinces. He pointed that the crisis is due to a shortage of American dollars to repay foreign partner dues.
 
Zayed said the crisis has affected Upper Egypt for more than two weeks, and will not subside unless authorities begin to pump more than the required amount of fuel to the provinces, adding that the owners of gas stations are awaiting the arrival of additional quantities to ports to increase the quantities and mitigate the crisis.
 
"There is such crowded queues for diesel fuel and gasoline in the governorates, which has led to closure of the main roads, hampering the traffic, indicating that the gas station owners suffer from fights among citizens accusing them of smuggling diesel during the night," he said.