O rising fuel prices shows no signs of slowing down and, despite the mitigation measures already announced by the government, dissatisfaction with this scenario is growing. And there are already demonstrations to be programmed, a movement of which the public security police (PSP) admit to being aware. The National Association of Road Hauliers of Goods (Antram), the largest representative of the sector in Portugal, recognizes that the country could experience a wave of protests from truckers.
The first signs appear on social networks. This is the case of an event called by the group Motoristas do Asfalto, on Facebook, to block the 25 de Abril bridge, on March 21. More than 100 people declare participating in this demonstration and 374 others declare being interested in it.
Contacted by PÚBLICO, the PSP does not comment on this specific case, but confirms the existence of these movements. “Regarding the calls on social networks about the protests linked to the increase in fuel prices, the PSP has been following the evolution of the situation for several days”, begins by saying Nuno Carocha, spokesperson for the PSP.
And he adds: “We urge that the exercise of citizenship rights, namely to demonstrate, be exercised in accordance with the rules, namely road safety and without unnecessarily harming or endangering other citizens”.
On the institutional side, it also seems clear that discontent is on the rise. In an interview with Cash and to TSF, published this Saturday, the spokesperson for Antram, André Matias de Almeida, assured that this association “will not encourage or be part of a demonstration that goes through stops that may cause disturbances of property essential”. But he admitted: “We are not hiding the growing dissatisfaction we are seeing with regard to the partners (…). We would be very surprised if some companies, voluntarily and on their own initiative, took the path of protest measures – which would always result in the interruption of assets”.
Fuels close to 2 euros per liter
These events take place at a time when fuel prices in Portugal have been rising for several consecutive weeks. In the case of gasoline, in particular, since mid-December, there has been an increase every week.
At this time, according to data from the Directorate General for Energy and Geology (DGEG) on March 11, the average price of gasoline is €1.939 per liter, while diesel is €1.837 per liter. . In both cases, these are the highest values ever recorded and come after, on Monday, a historic increase in the price of these fuels, of 13.7 cents for diesel and 8.5 cents for gasoline.
And the movement must continue. According to calculations made by the business diarysimple petrol 95 could increase by around 7 cents per liter from Monday (reaching, in this case, 1,987 euros per liter), while diesel could increase by 12 cents (which would bring the price of this fuel to 1,932 euros per litre).
This despite, in the meantime, oil prices dampening the rises in international markets. A barrel of Brent, traded in London and which serves as a benchmark for the European market, is now trading around $112, after hitting $139 a barrel last week, the highest value since mid-May.
Anram discusses solutions
Faced with this scenario, the government has already taken several measures to mitigate the impact of rising prices, but companies are asking for more. This is the case of Antram which, this Saturday, brings together its members to discuss solutions which will then be proposed to the executive.
On the table, as André Matias de Almeida has already mentioned in an interview with Dinheiro Vivo and TSF, measures such as the possibility of deducting from the IRC the investment in a sustainable fleet, the creation of a line of cash support for the transport of goods or VAT reduction applied to fuels.
The meeting which takes place this Saturday brings together more than 200 companies associated with Antram.