Failed talks prompt second fuel strike in Italy
February 16, 2007
NAPLES, Italy — Negotiations once again failed between the Italian government and fuel station managers, prompting distributors to call for another fuel strike — this time lasting over a four-day period, according to Italian news media reports.
Fuel station representatives said they will strike from Feb. 27 through March 2 to protest governmental changes in a recently passed law.
If talks continue to break down, fuel stations have announced a potentially debilitating eight-consecutive-day strike from March 25 through April 3, according to ANSA, an Italian news service.
The strike coming up in two weeks will be the second shutdown in a series of protest strikes expected to last through April. Stations throughout Italy closed for a cumulative total of 48 hours beginning on the evening of Feb. 6. Some stations along the nation’s major highways remained open during daytime hours.
There are no fuel stations available on military bases for U.S. and NATO personnel, civilians and families serving in Italy. Instead, they fuel up on the economy at Agip or Esso stations using prepaid fuel coupons bought from the military exchanges.
While military bases have government-subsidized fuel pumps, they are reserved for official-government-use vehicles.
Italian fuel station managers and their labor representatives are launching the series of strikes in an attempt to overturn the Jan. 25 passage of a plan that lifts restrictions limiting where, and how many, fuel stations can be built.
The changes, aimed at stimulating business competition, include lifting distance restrictions between similar businesses. The law affects service stations, hair salons, cinemas and tobacco shops. The plan also would allow companies to build discount fuel stations at supermarkets and shopping malls.