TUNIS, Tunisia - The National Chamber of Fuel Agents (NCFA) will strike on February 25 in protest of what it calls rampant petrol smuggling from neighboring Libya and Algeria, Tunisia Live reports.
The association of gasoline station managers said the government has neglected the smuggling problem. During the 2011 summer, the army mobilized in the south to stop smuggled petrol from going into Libya.
The NCFA now feels that the government is once again ignoring illegal gas trafficking. The strike would effectually shutter gasoline stations across the country. The association is waiting for the government€™s response before striking next week, said NCFA Vice President Mohamed Haj Zlitni.
Traffickers typically enlarge vehicle fuel tanks before crossing the border into Tunisia from Libya and Algeria, which sell fuel below the cost in Tunisia. Contraband fuel generally ends up in border cities, such as Beja and Gabes, but rarely makes its way to Tunis.
Illegal fuel trafficking has a ripple effect in the gasoline industry, lowering profits for investors and gasoline retailers, and decreasing demand for fuel, which could trigger layoffs.