Bank closures draw unsettled masses to petrol stations

The local fuel market is expected to be disoriented by operational complications today, the first day with capital controls imposed, as the government has not yet issued transaction orders for trading between refineries, distributors, and petrol stations amid the latest conditions.

Also, until 8am this morning, the Finance Ministry had not yet issued customs with orders for operational procedures under the current market conditions. Until now, cheques issued by companies for payment of fuel taxes sufficed.

Fuel amounts stored away by sector companies since last week are expected to cover market needs until around midday today. If the customs details remain unsettled, supply will run dry during the day if the concerned masses  rush for fuel, as was the case yesterday.

It has been reported that some petrol stations have already run dry following the weekend rush by many drivers to fill tanks. These petrol stations may be forced to close during the day if payment procedures in the sector are not resolved. Credit card use by drivers is said to have increased yesterday. However, certain petrol stations accepted cash only, fearing banking complications as a result of the capital controls.

Trading complications aside, fuel supply is at an adequate level to cover the Greek market’s needs for quite some time, according to ELPE chief executive Grigoris Stergioulis. Just days ago, the official had noted current reserves suffice to cover market needs for a ninety-day period, while refineries are already making efforts to secure additional amounts.