Gas station in Rome:
Photo: Nico De Pasquale Photography / Getty Images
If you have to fill up in Italy, you have a problem: from Tuesday evening, the Italian gas station leaseholders are going on a 48-hour strike.
They are protesting against a "shameful smear campaign" and what they consider to be poor government action in the energy crisis, as three unions said.
The walkout begins at 7:00 p.m. and continues until Thursday at the same time.
From 10 p.m. onwards, there should be no more fuel at motorway filling stations for 48 hours.
The trade unions Faib, Fegica and Figisc/Anisa called on their members not to allow self-service during this time either.
The background to the industrial action is the actions of the government of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni in the fight against the rise in fuel prices.
Among other things, the financial police were instructed to check gas stations for possibly unjustified price increases.
In addition, the tenants were obliged to publish the average price per liter in their region in addition to the fuel price charged at their pumps.
Violations are subject to fines.
According to the strike call, the measures punish the operators, but do not help the customers.
Even more than against the conditions, the gas station tenants protest against public statements about their profession.
They see themselves as victims of a smear campaign.
At the beginning of January, some prominent politicians, including Infrastructure Minister Matteo Salvini, claimed that fuel had risen due to price speculation at gas stations.
In fact, petrol and diesel became more expensive because the government abolished some fuel discounts.
Because petrol stations are essential service providers, some taps have to remain in operation even during the strike.
In addition, those gas stations operated directly by the oil companies could also remain exempt from the strike.