Government admits fuel supplies insufficient

Ongoing fuel shortages worsened in Cairo and other governorates Sunday, with the shortage in diesel fuel reaching 20–25 percent. The government has been accused of failing to address the problem as fights occurred between clients at several fuel stations.

Official sources at the Supply and Internal Trade Ministry admitted there was a decrease in supply, blaming the problem on irregular pumping of fuel in oil stations. The sources said the ministry had submitted a report on the issue to the Cabinet to take urgent action.

The fuel shortages have plagued the country since former President Hosni Mubarak’s ouster. State institutions have blamed each other for the shortage.

Last week, the Petroleum Ministry said the current crisis would end within hours, denying that the government intended to cancel fuel subsidization despite soaring black market rates. Petroleum Minister Osama Kamal told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the ministry would pump extra amounts in the greater Cairo and Upper Egyptian governorates.

Hundreds of citizens in Cairo, Assiut and Fayoum protested the shortages last week. Last Monday, some bus drivers threatened to launch an open-ended sit-in if fuel subsidies are canceled.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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