Sabotaging Petrol Stations in Protest Against Fuel Price

About fifty young Romanians have been giving a hard time to many petrol stations in their country since October 2010, showing their resent to what they consider an overpricing of fuels. They pick a target station and then they almost bring its business to a halt. Each of the protester brings a car to a fuel pump, as slowly as possible, sometimes even pushing it, as if it had run out of petrol. Then, every protester painstakingly squirts a couple of litres in the tank, drop by drop.

Before heading out to the cashier, the protesters use all the free facilities of the station as slowly as possible: they wipe their windshields and clean their head and tail lights, they check their tyre pressure and so on. When they eventually go to pay for their purchase, they use the smalles coins possible, placing them one after the other on the counter. This way, it may take a protester up to 40 minutes in order to fill up with just pennies’ worth of fuel. And when all the group does that to the targeted station, it is sure that the business is set back by some serious money.

“From what we hear, one third of the fuel sold in Romania is produced locally, at costs sensibly lower than those in the EU. None the less, the price of fuel in Romania is the same as everywhere in the Union, despite the fact that the average pay in our country is about four times smaller”, explains Daniel Ştirbu, one of the protesters, quoted by Gândul, a Romanian newspaper.

The average price per litre of fuel in Romania is now around 1.14 Euros and it is expected to rise soon, because of the new taxation levels introduced by the government. Average pay in Romania is around 450 Euros a month. The prices of fuels in Romania has increased by 16 percent in 2010, while the international price of crude oil has only increased by 12 percent in the same year.

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