Portugal declared an “energy crisis” on Tuesday after a strike by fuel truck drivers hit the country, forcing the government to order striking workers to get back on the road immediately as airports resorted to emergency reserves, ONA reports quoting Reuters.
Demanding better workers’ rights, fuel truck drivers started a strike on Monday but guaranteed the operation of minimum services. According to the Socialist government, however, the minimum service has not been provided and fuel supplies are running out.
In Faro, one of the country’s biggest tourist hubs, the airport resorted to emergency fuel reserves. Lisbon airport has also been affected.
“At both airports, where fuel supply wasn’t ensured, we have reached critical levels of fuel reserves for aircraft refueling,” Economy Minister Pedro Siza Vieira told reporters.
Alongside oil companies, Portugal’s government and security forces are sending dozens of tanker trucks to Lisbon to supply the capital’s airport with fuel.
An energy crisis was declared by the government on Tuesday evening, meaning security and emergency services now have priority when it comes to refueling at gas stations. In addition, an alert was issued to ensure security forces are mobilized to run fuel supply operations and guarantee people’s safety.
The government said in a statement the strike was also affecting fire stations, ports, public transport companies and gas stations.