After establishing that the airport and gas stations in the Faro district, the famous touristic coastal region in southern Portugal, were experiencing fuel shortages, Costa declared an energy emergency and convened an extraordinary cabinet meeting.
Costa acknowledged on Twitter the "violation of minimum required level of services" and said that "transfers by drivers of the National Republic Guard and Public Security Police amid the energy crisis have already begun".
Informei o Presidente da República sobre o evoluir dos acontecimentos. Tem reinado o civismo, sem confrontos, mas está a verificar-se um incumprimento dos serviços mínimos. Assim, já se iniciaram transportes com motoristas da GNR e da PSP no âmbito do estado de alerta energético. pic.twitter.com/9xQq48xtdP— António Costa (@antoniocostapm) August 12, 2019
Tank truck drivers declared an open-ended strike to demand salary increases on Monday, resulting in severe disruptions at gas stations across the country. The government had to introduce gas rationing to mitigate the impact and ordered drivers on strike to maintain regular deliveries to airports and emergency services.
Long lines of vehicles at gas stations have been seen all across Portugal and in neighbouring areas of Spain.
Drivers on strike risk facing criminal charges for not complying with federal orders.
Portugal is in the midst of its second fuel crisis since April.