Petrol pumps threaten strike over €21 million demand for upgrading funds

GRTU says petrol pumps will go on strike if government drags its feet on €21 million in funds needed for upgrade by 2020

The EU directive says that changes are to be made by 2020, and GRTU’s study back in 2014 found that a total of €21 million will cover the costs for this to happen
The EU directive says that changes are to be made by 2020, and GRTU’s study back in 2014 found that a total of €21 million will cover the costs for this to happen

The Chamber of SMEs (GRTU) has threatened industrial action by petrol stations across the island, over the lack of progress to provide some €21 million in government funds for petrol pump upgrades.

A GRTU study conducted in 2014 had found that 80 out of 90 petrol stations in Malta and Gozo need to change all their equipment, from the petrol pumps, to piping and the underground storage tanks in order to bring them in line with an EU directive.

The EU directive says that changes are to be made by 2020, and GRTU’s study back in 2014 found that a total of €21 million will cover the costs for this to happen.

“The GRTU is disappointed that discussions with government since 2014 have not resulted in any effective decision. The government even backtracked on what had been agreed upon,” a GRTU spokesperson said.

GRTU claims the study was presented to the Environment and Resources Authority back in 2014, underlining the works that needed to be done as well as the funds required for the endeavour.

GRTU chief executive Abigail Mamo had said back then that most petrol station owners do not have the necessary funds to upgrade their service and that help was needed from the government or the EU.

At the time of writing, no financial aid has been forthcoming. “GRTU met numerous times with the Minister for Energy and Water Management Joe Mizzi for the petrol stations to become compliant with EU directives but it seems the minister is playing for time and progress initially made has been retarded,” GRTU said.

GRTU said it does not exclude industrial action to take place in the coming days.

More in National